The main opposition Ugandan lawmaker and pop singer Bobi Wine arrived back home several hours after police had taken him into custody shortly after he landed at the international airport in Kampala from the United States. The opposition leader, Robert Kyagulanyi was taken from the airport straight to a police station where he was then held for about three hours before being taken home.
After his arrival at home, the politician gave a news conference. According to social media, videos show Wine saying he was glad to be home and that he didn’t know where the police were taking him when they took him from the airport.
A police statement thanked Wine for “cooperating with the police” as it escorted him home. A Ugandan government spokesman told VOA that the tight security around Kampala was because many of Wine’s supporters are violent and the city needed to be protected.
Bobi Wine was not allowed to have contact with journalists while at the airport and police banned all public gatherings.
Police denied reports that journalists trying to reach the airport were arrested, although it said some were questioned and are all now free.
International and local media, as well as social media report that Wine’s brothers, members of his band and his manager were arrested before his arrival on a flight from Europe.
Wine had been in the United States for the past few weeks, seeking treatment for injuries he said were from beatings he received after he was arrested on August 14. He told journalists Thursday that he was feeling better but still experiencing pain.
Wine alleges that he and others were tortured whilst in custody. He was later granted bail and allowed to leave the country for treatment. The government has however denied the allegations.
He has been a major critic of President Yoweri Museveni for a long time now and seen as a threat to the president, who has been ruling for more than 30 years now. Wine, four other members of parliament and about 30 supporters were arrested last month after a protest broke out during a campaign event for a by-election.