Riots rock Kampala over Bobi Wine incarceration

Teargas and bullets have rocked Nakulabye, a Kampala suburb as police battled protesters who are demanding for the release of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine.

Kyagulanyi was on Monday charged and remanded by court to Luzira Prison until Thursday, May 2. He was charged with disobedience of statutory duty.

Police has been engaged in running battles with protesters at the Nakulabye traffic lights, and near Chez Johnson and around Tuskys Supermarket.

Several shops have for most of the day remained closed with owners fearing to lose their merchandise to the protesters.

The angry protestors also blocked roads with heavy stones in addition to lighting fires.

An undisclosed number of the protesters have also been arrested.

A woman who had locked herself inside her shop in Nakulabye fainted and was rushed to Mulago Hospital.

Police deployed in downtown Kampala

Meanwhile in places like Nakawa and the surrounding areas, business was moving on normally like any other day.

Between 9 am to midday, there was no heavy deployment of the police or the army in the area, unlike in other areas.

Some Nakawa market traders say that it is unusual that there are no protests around the market. The traders are among those who sell charcoal, foodstuffs and kitchenware like saucepans.

Even Boda Boda cyclists and taxi drivers say that Kyagulanyi’s detention has hardly attracted any opposition from traders in the market.

Some of the traders including 46-year-old Issa, a boda-boda cyclist and Juliet, a 37-year-old mother and charcoal seller strongly oppose Kyagulanyi’s detention, while others say that they are not concerned by what is happening to Kyagulanyi.

The MPs outside Luzira prison gate

Meanwhile, several MPs who had gone to visit Bobi Wine at Luzira have been turned away by prison authorities.

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago had led MPs Betty Nambooze Bakireke (Mukono Municipality), Moses Kasibante (Lubaga North), Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality), Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) and Asuman Basalirwa (Bugiri Municipality) but were turned away because they needed  “special clearance” to see Kyagulanyi

“When we rang the Commissioner General of Prisons Johnson Bashaija he told us he is in Agago and that we try Commissioner Mwanje who referred us to the Regional Prisons commander whose names we couldn’t establish,” Nambooze said in a Facebook post.

“At Luziira main gate, issues to do with visiting Hon Kyagulanyi are specifically handled by one Jackson Kuyangana who is introduced as the OC Special Safety Unit (SSU). The powerful Kuyangana arrogantly told us that he is under instruction not to allow anyone to access Prisoner Kyagulanyi because of his (Kyagulanyi) security,” Nambooze further said.