National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine has been arrested in Luuka District where he had been scheduled to address his supporters as he looks for votes ahead of the 2021 General Elections.
The Kyadondo East MP was arrested on Wednesday morning following a scuffle between his supporters and security operatives at his campaign venue.
Police accused Mr Kyagulanyi of having more than 200 supporters recommended by the EC to contain further spread of Covid-19.
He’s currently detained at Nalufenya Police post in Jinja District.
Bobi Wine’s arrest comes after the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola warned presidential candidates against defying Electoral Commission guidelines in a bid to prevent further spread of Covid-19.
“Despite repeated warnings issued to candidates, their agents and wider public about the negative impact and health risks of holding unauthorized rallies and processions, we continue to witness acts of defiance and total disregard of the EC guidelines. Therefore, those who shall defy these Electoral Commission guidelines with their sinister plans aimed at disrupting the Electoral process will definitely suffer consequences,” Mr Ochola said in a statement issued on Wednesday morning.
According to the IGP, police and their sister security agencies have adopted a tougher approach to preserve the integrity of the electoral process.
“We have dispatched our specialist teams and quick reaction teams, to identify ring leaders (and principals) for apprehension in the face of crime. We have disseminated our comprehensive policing plan to all territorial commanders for them to implement without fear or favor,” he added.
Mr Kyagulanyi has in the past days been seen addressing crowds in disregard of Covid-19 SOPs as he seeks to unseat President Museveni who has ruled Uganda since 1986.
NRM supporters have also been seen holding processions in towns and cities where the veteran president who is also the party presidential candidate has been holding his campaign meetings.
Pictures of musicians Moses Ssali alias Bebe Cool, Catherine Kusasira and Big Eye, among others holding procession s and distributing T-shirts to crowded NRM supporters without observing SOPs have been widely shared on social media.
However, the IGP said the Electoral and Political Offences Department at CID headquarters, has obtained videos of the respective campaign trails, and started gathering evidence to press formal charges, on candidates, campaign agents and influencers who are caught on the wrong side of the law.