Police tear gas Bobi Wine’s Boxing day concert

It was a highly anticipated music concert at One Love Beach Busaabala but the heavy deployment of both the police and army early on Wednesday morning gave indications that the show may not happen.

The beach is owned by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine who has in recent months  turned into one of President Yoweri Museveni’s fiercest critics.

In November, the politician cum musician held here one of Uganda’s most successful music concerts, attended by at least 75,000 revellers – according to police figures.

In days that followed, the state used the police blocked his planned concerts on grounds that the organisers failed to meet certain conditions under the Public Order Management Act, a law that was enacted in 2013 to regulate political gatherings.

Bobi Wine (with red beret) confronts a police officer at Busaabala

Last week, Parliament condemned government’s ban on the musician’s concerts after a group of music promoters petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.

Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odong responded by telling Parliament that the MP would be allowed to continue with his music career “under the law” which gave an indication that his annual music fete “Yee Ssebo Busaabala” would go on uninterrupted.

To the contrary, the police had a different plan.

Water cannons and tear gas were used to disperse revellers that had turned up for the fete which Police spokesman Emilian Kayima said did not get the necessary clearance.

According to Bobi Wine, the police ordered his employees to halt preparations for the show.

“They have ordered the stage and sound engineers to bring down the stage and pull down all material we had put in place for the show,” the MP said.

On Christmas day, another concert at Ggaba beach where he was meant to perform was also stopped by the police.