The leader of Uganda’s main opposition party, Bobi Wine, was arrested on Thursday on his return to the country, his party’s secretary general announced.
Bobi Wine was arrested by agents of the regime as soon as he landed at Entebbe airport, David Lewis Rubongoya, secretary general of the National Unity Platform, wrote on X, ex-Twitter, with a photo showing the opposition leader surrounded by two people.
Former singer, Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was the main rival of President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled the East African country since 1986 in the 2021 presidential election.
The head of state was re-elected for a sixth term with 58% of the vote, according to the official results, ahead of Bobi Wine (35%), who denounced the election as a farce.
Bobi Wine has been arrested several times in recent years, and his supporters’ rallies are regularly dispersed, sometimes violently.
Bobi Wine’s supporters had planned to accompany him en masse to his home north of the capital, Kampala, to welcome him back, but police had said such gatherings were illegal.
Ugandan authorities have a long history of using so-called “preventative arrest” to detain opposition leaders, often holding them for several hours before returning them to their homes to stymie mass demonstrations.
In September, the Ugandan police announced that they were suspending a national mobilization campaign launched by the NUP because of public order disturbances.