Police deny arrest of Wine, say they escorted him from airport to his home, opposition claims politician is under house arrest
Ugandan opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, was arrested Thursday at the airport as he returned from a trip abroad, his party said.
“Our President @HEBobiwine (has been) picked up by regime operatives as soon as he landed at the airport,” David Lewis Rubongoya, secretary general of the National Unity Platform (NUP), said on social media platform X.
A video shared on X showed the former presidential candidate being whisked away by plain clothed security operatives at Entebbe airport and a man was heard asking: “Where are you taking him?”
The Uganda police denied in a statement that Wine was arrested but instead said they only accompanied him to his residence outside the capital Kampala.
“We wish to inform the public that the NUP President, Hon. Kyagulanyi Robert was successfully escorted by our security team from Entebbe to his home in Magere. He reached his home around 11.20 a.m. (0820GMT), and is with his family and friends,” the police said in a statement posted on X.
The opposition, however, claims he is under arrest.
Wine, a pop star-turned-politician, challenged 79-year-old Yoweri Museveni in the 2021 elections. He came second with 35% of the vote, as Museveni took the lead with 59%. The opposition claimed their victory had been stolen, alleging election irregularities.
Wine, 41, is seen by many as the new face of Uganda’s opposition and regarded as a major threat to Museveni, who is in power since 1986.
He has been on a mobilization tour in several countries including South Africa.