Jubilation in Kampala as police release Bobi Wine on bail

Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, was arrested for allegedly staging an illegal protest in 2018
Bobi wine released in Uganda

Ugandan rapper-turned-MP, Bobi Wine has been released from prison Thursday just days after the outspoken government critic was detained on charges his supporters believe were politically motivated.

A magistrate in Kampala granted bail to the 37-year-old opposition star, who told a courtroom packed with supporters he would remain in prison if it meant “standing for what is right”.

“It is not we on trial, but the court. My business is the truth,” Wine said via video link -a first for Uganda- from a maximum-security prison in the capital.

“If standing for what is right is going to keep me in prison, then be it so.”

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His supporters –who clashed with security forces when Wine was arrested Monday –celebrated his release in the streets of Kampala where police and the military kept close guard.

Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, was arrested for allegedly staging an illegal protest in 2018 – a charge fellow opposition MPs decried as ridiculous.

The popular singer is the figurehead of a new generation who grew up under President Yoweri Museveni but want to see change and his anti-government songs have helped win him a big following.

He has emerged a real challenger to the veteran president, who intends to run for a sixth term in 2021.

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Ugandan authorities have frustrated Wine’s efforts to hold concerts at his private club, and have detained him repeatedly for procedural misdemeanours.

“This is a journey Hon. Kyagulanyi (Wine) started on, and he is aware of the dangers he faces daily,” Asuman Basalirwa, one of Wine’s lawyers, told journalists.

The ongoing crackdown against the opposition has drawn the attention of neighbouring African leaders, who have urged Ugandan authorities to respect democratic freedoms.


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