Back story: Bobi Wine attempted to disorganise Besigye rally before walking straight into fatal incident
A failed confrontation with FDC supporters and walking straight into the President's convoy with charged up supporters is not the kind of scenario that was on the cards
POLITICS | It is said Dr Kizza Besigye rarely loses his temper and that he measures his words directed at fellow Opposition politicians rather carefully but Monday evening at Arua Primary School playground, he let his frustrations known at a public rally.
According to Crime24‘s Richard Ofuti in Arua, the man who has had a protracted political battle with President Museveni stretching nearly two decades snapped when Robert Kyagulanyi, Member of Parliament for Kyaddondo East in Kampala, raided the playground.
In apparent routine political mobilisation strategy, Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, had showed up hoping to use his celebrity status to attract the youth at FDC candidate Bruce Musema’s rally to his following. In Bugiri, it was for Asuman Basalirwa, and in Arua, it was for Kassiano Wadri.
“Bobi Wine first invaded FDC rally as Dr Besigye had just started addressing supporters at Arua Primary School. He called Musema’s supporters to follow him as he stood atop a truck and they refused,” Ofuti, who was at the rally, said.
“Besigye stopped his address and music was played as Bobi Wine continued his antics.”
This was not the first time Bobi Wine, who has been a crowd puller since throwing his hat into the political arena last year, was using similar mobilisation strategy, according to Daniel Kazungu, an FDC politician and journalist who witnessed similar style in Bugiri Municipality election where Bobi Wine painted the district red.
Running frustrated, Besigye snapped and directed a veiled message at Bobi Wine.
“Those who call themselves opposition have now come to interrupt Bruce Musema’s rally. This is the injustice against Musema that has brought me to Arua to support him,” Besigye said.
The legislator, who has gained a large following among the youth, took the cue and promptly departed the venue.
“Shortly after Bobi Wine and his group had left the playground, we heard gunshots and Besigye ended his address prematurely,” Ofuti said.
Apparently, while leaving Musema’s rally venue, Bobi Wine’s entourage walked straight into President Museveni’s convoy as the latter was leaving Boma Grounds where he had been campaigning for NRM candidate Nusura Tiperu.
Yasin Kawuma, Bobi Wine’s driver, paid for the political mobilisation effort with his life when he was allegedly shot dead by the president’s security detail.
It is not yet clear how the tragic end for Kawuma happened, but Police spokesperson for West Nile region Josephine Angucia told the media that Kawuma might have been shot by a stray bullet while her boss Emilian Kayima later released a statement faulting Bobi Wine’s supporters for the fatal incident.
Kayima said in the release that Police swung into action to protect the president after rowdy supporters of Wadri had attacked one of the cars on the motorcade.
“The president’s convoy was attacked by hooligans at Prisons Cell in Arua Municipality as the president left Boma grounds where he had addressed the NRM rally,” Kayima said.
Kayima said the rowdy supporters of Wadri smashed the hind screen of one of the cars in the convoy.
Tweeting after the incident, the president’s senior press secretary Don Wanyama said Museveni’s official car had been damaged. The tweet was published along with photos of a V8 Land Cruiser bearing the official State House insignia.
It is not yet clear how the highly guarded presidential detail could be attacked by stone-wielding people, but what is not in doubt is that attacking a presidential motorcade is like writing a scene in ‘1000 Ways to Die’ series.
President @KagutaMuseveni car that was hit by opposition supporters this evening in Arua town. The police will issue a statement on this incident shortly. @nbstv @newvisionwire @DenisNabz @FrankTumwebazek @mollykamukama @JustineLumumba pic.twitter.com/qlT9jwePJ0
— Don Wanyama (@nyamadon) August 13, 2018
“Unfortunately, one person was fatally injured during the incident,” Kayima said.
Bobi Wine, dozens arrested
The incident became the talking point Monday evening after Bobi Wine tweeted that his driver had been shot and that he was the target of the fatal incident.
Plain-clothed security detail later surrounded Pacific Hotel where Bobi Wine and his group had retreated to and arrested the musician turned politician along side other MPs with whom he was campaigning for Wadri.
Those arrested include Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake, former Makindye East MP Michael Mabikke, Lubowa Henry, Haji Mubaraka Kawooya, and Wadri.
Police says it has 34 opposition supporters in custody, including the legislators.
Bobi Wine’s wife Barbie Kyagulanyi said Monday evening they were yet to the whereabouts of the arrested politicians.
“I have no idea where my husband and a team of about seven of his people are at the moment, we have lost touch. All their phones are not reachable and we are all watching out the window to see or hear the next news coming in,” Barbie said.
As well as the politicians, security personnel are said to have rounded up journalists who were at the scene of the shooting. NTV said its reporters Herbert Zziwa and Ronald Muwanga had gone missing. The reporters are said to have been detained at Arua Police Station.
Other journalists roughed up include NBS’ cameraman Julius Yiga Bakabaage.