At least 29 people are now known to have been killed as Ugandan police opened fire on demonstrators who took to the streets following Wednesday’s arrest of opposition presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi known as Bobi Wine.The pop star turned politician was arrested in Kampala’s Luuka district while on the campaign trail for apparently flouting guidelines meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Supporters of his National Unity Platform who claimed he is being held for political reasons held demonstrations across the country on Thursday, demanding his release.
Wine’s wife Barbie Kyagulanyi has said she was prevented from visiting her detained husband.
The rapper-cum politician was charged with treason in 2018.
The security forces have been blamed for the killing of demonstrators some of whom died of gunshot wounds.
Several presidential hopefuls including (Rtd) Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, (Rtd) Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, Mr Norbert Mao and Mr Fred Mwesigye have announced the suspension of their respective campaigns in solidarity with NUP.
Kampala remains tense as security operatives patrol its streets where shops have been forced to shut down and transport services halted.
According to Dr Rosemary Byanyima, the deputy director of the Mulago National Referral Hospital 46 people with wounds from the demonstrations are being admitted at the casualty ward.
Aside from Bobi Wine, several NUP leaders are being detained.
Ugandans go to the polls on January 14 to elect a president and parliamentarians.
Incumbent Yoweri Museveni who has been in power since 1986 is running for a fifth term.