Bobi Wine: More international pressure piles on government

Two members of the US Congress have written to the Ugandan Ambassador to United States Mull Ssegujja Katende demanding that government drops charges filed against Kyadongo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and his 33 colleagues who were arrested following the August 13 Arua fracas.

Congressman Brad Sherman and Congresswoman Karen Bass in a September 21 letter to Uganda’s representative in Washington demanded that the Ugandan government immediately drops charges against Bobi Wine, fellow legislators Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality East), Gerarld Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality) and Kassiano Wadri (Arua Municipality), former Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke and others opposition supporters who were brutally arrested during the fracas in Arua.

They note that Uganda has been a key ally of the US particularly in efforts to bolster regional security but the political situation could affect their cooperation.

“We have also worked hand in hand to promote the rule of law and and the protection of human rights , as well as to support Civil Society in advancing the health and economic well-being of the country and we want to be able to continue to do so in good conscience,” the letter reads in part.

“Suppressing political dissent is a dangerous trend – one that must be reversed if Uganda wants to truly embrace democratic ideals,” they further wrote.

They demanded that government launches investigations into the torture subjected to Bobi Wine and others like Zaake.

“We also call for a thorough investigation into all allegations of violence against Kyagulanyi, his colleagues, demonstrators and journalists. Finally we urge the government to halt efforts to silence the political opposition” they added.

They further castigated the mishandling of journalists and protestors by security operatives.
Their demands come within a week after the European Parliament made similar demands that angered the Ugandan government.