Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | All Ugandan artists with the exception of the Kyadondo East legislator, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine are enjoying freedom of performance, according to Uganda Government Spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo.
“Save for one artiste, all artistes in Uganda enjoys freedom of performance and the media platforms are as free. Equally all politicians enjoy free access to these media platforms,” he said.
He was responding to a US Embassy statement questioning why government has been cancelling Bobi Wine’s shows.
According to Ofwono, all leaders are expected to respect standards set by security agencies. Bobi Wine clashed with police after his Monday Easter extra Kyarenga concert was cancelled by police.
Asuman Mugenyi, the Director of Operation Uganda Police Force argued that Kyagulanyi’s previous music concerts held at his One Love Beach fell short of security guidelines.
Mugenyi further claimed that Bobi Wine shows have severally turned into a public nuisance, violated traffic rules and regulations and caused other misconducts, which don’t only breach the law but endanger the lives of other people who are not even part of his music events.
Bobi Wine had scheduled to address the media at his One Love Beach, Busabala on Monday but was welcomed by heavy security deployment, arrested and driven to his home in Magere, Wakiso.
He later addressed the media at his home and announced that he would be walking to police headquarters to deliver a letter notifying authorities of his planned protest.
However, he was not allowed by police and military police to leave his home as planned. It’s in the midst of this situation that US Embassy released a statement Tuesday morning questioning government actions.
The US Embassy questioned government’s motive of blocking rallies and radio shows organised by Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and the party’s four time presidential candidate, Dr. Kizza Besigye in the recent weeks.
“Today we join the many Ugandans asking why their government has recently blocked musical concerts and radio talk shows, disrupted peaceful demonstrations and rallies, and deployed heavy-handed security forces against peaceful citizens,” the statement reads.
“Uganda’s constitution guarantees freedom of assembly and expression. We echo the Ugandan people in calling on the government to respect these rights. Strong leaders and states do not stifle speech – they allow their citizens to participate fully and without fear in a vibrant multi-party democracy.”