Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine: Press Statement (22.04.2019)
Greetings, countrymen and countrywomen.
Yesterday, the 21st day of April, 2019 the Uganda Police Force once again blocked our music concert which had been scheduled to take place today at One Love Beach Busabala. Their letter also indicated that all our other planned shows across the country stand cancelled. For clarity, we have been planning to hold mega music concerts in the districts of Lira, Gulu and Kitgum and police had been duly notified. This brings the total number of our shows which have been blocked by the Police to 124!
Every citizen of Uganda knows what this is about. President Museveni is simply not happy with what I sing. He would simply want me to sing praises for him, and since I have refused, he won’t let me perform anywhere in Uganda. Being the coward he is, his government has even proposed ridiculous regulations that would ensure that I don’t perform outside Uganda without clearance from the government. He simply can’t stand our message being aired out anywhere.
Let me remind the nation that we have so far taken the following steps from the time these violations started in October, 2017. We filed a case in the High Court in 2017. To date, judgement has not been delivered. We petitioned the Uganda Human Rights Commission. We are yet to get a hearing. We petitioned the Parliament. Parliament passed a resolution against the blocking of our concerts and ordered the police and other security agencies to stop this unconstitutional conduct. They totally ignored Parliament’s resolution. We held meetings with the police leadership asking them what law we had violated. All they said was that they were acting on orders from above!
Let me also remind us all that it is not only our music shows that have been illegally blocked- I have on several occasions been barred from moving freely in this country. Several events that planned to host me have been cancelled, including a graduation event in Kasese. A few months ago, police attempted to block me from attending my sister’s wedding in Gomba district- I only eluded them and got to the event. In the recent past, police teargassed a church congregation that I attended in Kayunga. I have been put under 24 hour surveillance as if I am a criminal. People Power activities across the country have been blocked with impunity. Several of our songs have been banned on radio and television Stations. All these illegalities have been orchestrated by a few people in the police leadership, acting on the orders of President Museveni.
While these illegalities have been meted out on me, my family and the People Power movement, our other comrades in the struggle have not been spared. The police has violated clear constitutional provisions and blocked FDC activities across the country. Radio stations have been switched off for hosting comrade Dr. Kizza Besigye. Several events organised by the Democratic Party have been blocked without explanation. Colleague Members of Parliament have been arrested for protesting against evictions of our people in Apaa. Traders in Kampala have been brutalized for trying to peacefully protest against several injustices. Comrades such as Hon. Francis Zaake have in the recent past been violently arrested by the police. Other comrades such as Dr. Stella Nyanzi are being illegally detained. Many political activists are being illegally detained in ‘safe houses’ and being subjected to all manner of torture. Even our Muslim brothers and sisters have been blocked from holding public prayers in protest against the injustices on the muslim community. Journalists have been brutalized by the police and the military for doing their work.
The citizens have been watching all these injustices, and have been asking us- WHAT NEXT?
As I have labored to explain, we have made resort to all lawful avenues to have these illegalities struck down without success.
We have now decided to resort to another lawful avenue to protest against injustice by the leadership of the Uganda Police Force. We are invoking Article 29(1)(d) of the Constitution of Uganda which guarantees every citizen the right to assemble and demonstrate peacefully unarmed, and to petition. We shall hold peaceful demonstrations against the brutality, injustice and misuse of authority by the leadership of the police.
We call upon all those who have been victims of police brutality, injustice and misuse of authority, as well as other well meaning Ugandans to demonstrate peacefully against these illegalities.
We have written to the Police informing them of our intention to protest against the Police, as required by law. On Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019 I will use public transport and if necessary walk to the Police Headquarters in Naguru to deliver the letter notifying them of our intentions. All other Ugandans who wish to protest are also encouraged to write to the police and walk or drive there to deliver the letters of notification. We cannot continue to live as slaves in our own country!
Your brother and comrade,
Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert- Bobi Wine