Uganda’s National Unity Platform (NUP) party’s presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi, popularly known as Bobi Wine, has been arrested by the police.
Bobi Wine, a former reggae star, was grabbed and whisked away by the security agents minutes after he was cleared to run by the East African country’s Independent Electoral Commission.
Bobi Wine’s supportes had gathered outside the nomination venue and along the road to the centre.
Police had earlier announced strict restrictions on the number of supporters accompanying presidential aspirants to the electoral commission to submit their nomination papers.
Supporters who had gathered at the National Unity Platform party headquarters for their manifesto launch were dispersed with tear gas.
Local reports said the supporters in Magere had formed a procession and attempted to accompany their presidential aspirant to Kyambogo for nominations.
Kyagulanyi is supposed to be the first presidential nominee scheduled to be nominated on the second day today at 10:00am.
Police had designated a special route for him which would have seen him leave his home in Magere, via Gayaza Road then Kisaasi and Ntinda before his nomination in Kyambogo but supporters have jammed the road.
The 38-year-old will face off against nine other presidential candidates including the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni in next year’s election.
COVID-19: Kenyan Lawmaker Seeks Dedicated Road Lanes For Ambulances
A Kenyan lawmaker, Nominated Senator Iman Falhada Dekow, has asked the parliament to create designated special lanes on major roads and highways for ambulances.
According to Dekow, creating designated road lanes for ambulances will ease emergency medical evacuation during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
She noted that the Traffic Act 403 Section 119 provides special treatment of ambulances when they are taking people to hospital but most drivers in the East African country make it hard for the vehicles to rush patients in need of emergency medical services to the hospitals.
Dekow said most motorists do not give way for the ambulances forcing them to manoeuvre traffic yet they are carrying critical patients.
“It is important that traffic police enforce traffic rules and ensure motorists who block ambulances are arrested,” she said.
She said the trend is common in towns with high traffic levels, such as Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru and Mombasa.
The Traffic Act 403 Section 119 validates traffic Rule 83, which states that: “Drivers should give right of way upon hearing sirens indicating the approach of police vehicles, ambulances or fire engines.”
“We are in the middle of a pandemic and without a coordinated response to these incidents; there is a potential of unnecessary increase in morbidity and mortality,” Dekow said.
Kenya Planning To Destabilise Somalia, Minister Alleges
Osman Abukar Dubbe, the Minister for Information Culture & Tourism of The Federal Republic of Somalia, has accused neighbouring Kenya of plotting to destabilise his country as it prepares for general elections.
Dubbe accused Kenya of political interference and hosting opposition leaders in Nairobi.
Politicians from Somalia’s southern Jubbaland regional state were among those who have previously held meetings in Nairobi amid discussions over Somalia’s 2020/2021 elections.
Speaking during a press conference broadcast live on the Facebook page of the state TV, Dubbe said, “We respect Kenya, appreciate our neighbourliness and mutual interest. On our side, we always uphold these principles. However, Kenya seems not to be interested in that but rather wants to pursue an inappropriate daydream and is a state focused on ambitions to pursue taking the Somali land and waters.
“Mogadishu has never hosted a single opposition politician from Kenya, who want to create tension in our neighbours, but instead, Nairobi has become a base where attacks on Somalia are launched from. It has become the base where agreements reached inside Somalia are violated.
“(Nairobi) has become a place where plans to cause political tensions intended to destabilise the emerging governance in our country… That is why we had recalled our ambassador from Nairobi for consultation,” the information minister said.
Dubbe also said al-Shabab seized territories in southern Somalia after the Kenyan Defence Forces that are part of AU Mission in Somalia (Amisom) withdrew from strategic towns in the region.
“After the Kenyan forces withdrew from the towns without informing anybody they were seized (by al-Shabab). Imagine the problems the Somali people who lived there experienced. Is that something we can ignore. Go and ask the residents in Fahfadhun what had happened to them,” the minister told reporters in Mogadishu.
On Monday 30 November, the Somali federal government recalled its ambassador to Nairobi and asked Kenya’s ambassador to Mogadishu “to depart for consultations”.
The Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied reports that it is interfering in Somalia’s internal and political affairs.
Relations between Kenya and Somalia have been marred in recent years largely due to a maritime dispute over a 150,000 square kilometre area in the Indian Ocean rich in oil and gas deposits.
According to the National Electoral Commission, Somalia will hold presidential elections on February 8, 2021, which will be preceded by legislative elections from December 1 to 27, 202.
Uganda Presidential Election: Bobi Wine Resumes Campaign Tomorrow
Bobi Wine, the candidate of the National Unity Platform (NUP) in the forthcoming Ugandan presidential election, has said he will resume campaigning on Thursday.
Bobi Wine, a former reggae musician whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, said this after a meeting with the electoral commission on Wednesday.
He told reporters that he had asked the electoral body to protect opposition politicians from harassment by the security forces.
The 38-year-old had requested a meeting with the Electoral Commission chairman, Simon Byabakama after police blocked him from holding a campaign rally at Budondo sub-county headquarters in Jinja city.
Security operatives were also said to have fired live bullets at Bobi Wine and some of his supporters. A bullet was said to have hit the tyres of the presidential candidate’s car.
Kyagulanyi told journalists that since he started his campaign, security personnel have continued to harass him and the Electoral Commission has remained silent on the matter.
“I have been forced to think that the electoral commission has lost track of this race and left us to be tormented and disrespected by security organs which are meant to be protecting us,” he said on Tuesday.
At the meeting, Bobi Wine told Byabakama to ensure that the security forces stop blocking roads and venues to prevent opposition candidates from campaigning.
The police have repeatedly defended themselves, saying they were implementing guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Uganda will hold its election in January 2021.
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