Heavy security in Entebbe as Bobi Wine returns

Thursday September 20 2018

Uganda security forces

Uganda security forces deployed along Entebbe road on September 20, 2018 ahead of Bobi Wine's return. PHOTO | SARAH BIREETE  

The EastAfrican
By The EastAfrican
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Uganda security forces have deployed massively in Entebbe ahead of the return of pop star-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, from the US on Thursday.

Police and soldiers were seen patrolling the Entebbe-Kampala road as well as the Entebbe International Airport with people coming to see off or welcome travellers restricted entry.

A military helicopter has also been spotted circling overhead in Entebbe.

Journalists too are required to have accreditation from Uganda Civil Aviation Authority without which they have been barred from the airport.

According to a Daily Monitor reporter, some journalists have been arrested and detained on their way from Kampala to Entebbe.

The Kyadondo East MP has been in the US for close to three weeks receiving specialised treatment for injuries he says he suffered from torture by security agents.

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Mr Kyagulanyi is expected to land at the airport at 12:45pm local time.

Daily Monitor reported that senior officers from the police, army, military and domestic intelligence units, and military police met on Wednesday evening at the Kampala Central Police Station to fine tune deployment plans during Mr Kyagulanyi's return.

Earlier, the police had banned any welcome rallies for the MP saying only his immediate family members would be allowed at the airport to receive him. The authorities added that he would be "availed security" from the airport to his home in Magere in Wakiso district.

Uganda security forces deployed in Magere,

Uganda security forces deployed in Magere, where Bobi Wine's home is located, on September 20, 2018 ahead of Bobi Wine's return. PHOTO | DAILY MONITOR

“There shall be no unlawful rallies, processions and assemblies,” the police said.

But shortly after, Mr Kyagulanyi, at the time at the airport in Amsterdam, hit back in a tweet, saying: "They now want to decide who picks me and where I go upon arrival! Well, for your information, no single family member will receive me at the airport."

"I will be received by friends, colleague leaders and artistes. I will then go and see my sick grandmother briefly at Najjanankumbi from where I will head to Kamwokya for lunch with my family (brothers and sisters) before I go to my home in Magere," he added.

His lawyers, Mr Nicholas Opiyo, Mr Asuman Basalirwa and Mr Andrew Karamagi, said they would be at the airport to receive him since he is still a "suspect."

Mr Kyagulanyi is facing treason charges over alleged stoning of President Yoweri Museveni's vehicle during a parliamentary by-election campaign in northwestern Arua Municipality. He has denied the charges and accused the government of trying to stifle dissent.

Bobi Wine's brother, Mr Fred Nyanzi, said the family would receive him at Kamwokya in Kampala before escorting him to his home in Magere, on the outskirts of the capital.

-Reporting by Daily Monitor.

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