KAMPALA – Ugandan police were on high alert and have banned processions on Wednesday ahead of the scheduled return of a popular musician-turned-opposition politician who has spent several weeks in the United States receiving medical attention after he was allegedly tortured by the East African country’s security corps.
Ugandan Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, a former pop star who still goes by the stage name Bobi Wine, is due to return to his home country on Thursday morning at the Entebbe International Airport near the capital, Kampala.
“On his arrival, the MP will be received at Entebbe International Airport by his immediate family,” police spokesperson Emilian Kayima told a press conference. “He will be availed security from the airport to his home.”
He said police would ensure order for road users on the highway linking the capital to the airport and insisted there would be no unsanctioned gatherings.
Wine, 36, faces charges of treason in his home country over his supposed links to an incident during the presidential campaign trail in August when incumbent President Yoweri Museveni’s motorcade was allegedly hit by stones thrown by supporters of an opposition candidate.
He was initially arrested on Aug. 13 and brought to a military court to face charges of treason and weapons offenses, the latter of which was dropped. Upon leaving the court, he was re-arrested on treason charges filed by a civilian regional court in the north of Uganda.
Wine appeared physically frail during the court hearing and used a cane to aid his walking. The MP alleged he was tortured in custody.
At the time of his initial arrest, Wine’s driver was shot and killed by security services.
The politician sent a video message on his Facebook from the US on Tuesday insisting that his group was non-violent and warned that the government was trying to tarnish the opposition by employing criminals to join its rallies and to throw stones.
President Museveni has been in office since 1986.