National Unity Platform (NUP) leader, Mr. Robert Kyagulanyi, commonly known as Bobi Wine, was apprehended by security personnel upon his arrival at Entebbe International Airport. He had just returned from international activities.
NUP Secretary General, David Lewis Rubongoya, informed the press that Mr. Kyagulanyi was removed from the plane and transported to an undisclosed location. As of now, his whereabouts remain unknown.
A video shared on social media depicted a group of plainclothes security officers taking Bobi Wine into custody as he disembarked the plane. They then placed him in a waiting vehicle that quickly departed.
Hassan Kirumira, a Member of Parliament from Katikamu South, was also detained alongside Bobi Wine and taken to his residence in Magere, Wakiso District. Subsequently, the Leader of the Opposition in parliament, Mathias Mpuuga, visited him.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango, stated, “The President of the National Unity Platform, Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi, has safely returned from his overseas trip. Security agencies accompanied him to his residence in Magere, Kasangati. We extend our appreciation to the security agencies for their efforts in maintaining the safety and security of our nation.”
NUP officials reported that over 300 of their supporters had been arrested between Wednesday and Thursday morning in anticipation of the party president’s return from his mobilization tours in Canada and South Africa.
Meanwhile, there is a significant presence of police and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) around Mr. Kyagulanyi’s residence. A video shared on social media by his wife, Barbie Itungo, showed a police helicopter hovering over their roof. She expressed concern about the heavy deployment and her husband’s absence, noting that one of their security guards had also been arrested.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Mr. Patrick Onyango, had warned on Wednesday that any procession to welcome Mr. Kyagulanyi would be considered illegal and might disrupt traffic flow and potentially lead to criminal activities. He advised against participating in such activities, emphasizing that security agencies would enforce the law.
Historically, the return of politicians at Entebbe International Airport has often been associated with chaos. In May 2011, during President Museveni’s swearing-in, there were clashes between supporters of Dr. Kizza Besigye, who had lost a presidential election, and security forces as his supporters welcomed him back from Nairobi, Kenya, where he had received medical treatment.