Museveni accuses media of 'fake news', says Bobi Wine not tortured

Monday August 20 2018

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. PHOTO | NMG 

More by this Author

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has dismissed reports that musician-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi known as Bobi Wine is gravely ill having been tortured at the hands of soldiers.

Mr Museveni, in a statement Sunday evening, termed the narrative as "fake news" because military doctors had informed that the condition of the MP was not as portrayed by the media.

“I decided to check with army doctors because, being a disciplined army, UPDF doctors always take precautions in such situations. Bobi Wine had already been seen by doctors in Arua, Gulu and Kampala. He has no head or chest injuries or bone fractures, they informed me,” Mr Museveni noted.

He accused the media and security agencies of paying too much attention to the stoning of one of his cars in Arua last week.

"Please, that is not the most serious problem here," he said, adding that he can defend himself, whether alone or with backing of his personal security, against a stone thrower or any attacker.

"I have done that for the last 48 years. I defended myself against Amin's soldiers on the 22nd of January, 1973, in Mbale, against the Kenyan policeman Patrick Shaw in Nairobi in 1978, against Tabuley near Atiriri in 2003," he said.

Intent to kill

He, however, said hurling a stone at another conveys an intent to kill, citing the death during the 2012 Walk-to-Work riots of police officer John Michael Ariong.

“The biggest problem is political leaders like (Arua Municipality MP-elect) Kassiano Wadri and Bobi Wine forming, or allowing indisciplined groups to be formed under the cover of elections, groups that form illegal processions in built-up and heavily populated areas, carrying stones, up-rooting side walk pavers to use as missiles; to attack defenceless women, children and other civilians,” he said.

He said the chaos in Arua injured many, property was destroyed and voters were intimidated leading to low turnout especially ruling party NRM supporters.

The President statement's also said tortured Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake, had escaped from police custody.

It remained unclear why police have not re-arrested him from Rubaga Hospital in Kampala where has been admitted for days.