Ugandan opposition figure Bobi Wine briefly detained upon return, claims house arrest

Ugandan security forces on Thursday briefly detained opposition figure Bobi Wine and foiled a planned street demonstration by his supporters who intended to welcome him at the airport.

Wine, a singer and former lawmaker whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, was driven under police escort to his home outside Kampala after his arrival from a trip abroad, police said.

Wine’s political party said he had been unlawfully detained at the airport, and Wine later told reporters inside his gated home that he was effectively under house arrest.

“As we speak right now I am under house arrest,” he said. “Because my house is surrounded. Soldiers and police are all over.”

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Uganda politics Bobi Wine

Bobi Wine, the Ugandan opposition figure also known as Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, talks to The Associated Press at his residence in Magere, situated just north of Uganda’s capital, Kampala, on Oct. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda, File)

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Police in a statement denied Wine was under arrest, saying he was at home “with family and friends.”

Ugandan police frequently detain opposition figures in “preventive arrest” measures they say are necessary to preserve public order.

Opposition rallies are rarely allowed in the East African country.

Wine ran for president in 2021, losing to President Yoweri Museveni in an election he claimed was rigged against him. Museveni has held power since 1986.

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