KAMPALA (Reuters) – Police took away Ugandan opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi as he obtained off a airplane on the nation’s essential airport on Thursday however a police official denied he was below arrest and a authorities official stated he had been taken to his house.
FILE PHOTO: Ugandan musician turned politician, Robert Kyagulanyi (C) leads activists throughout an indication towards new taxes together with a levy on entry to social media platforms in Kampala, Uganda July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Newton Nambwaya
Kyagulanyi, a outstanding challenger to long-ruling President Yoweri Museveni, was coming back from the US, the place he acquired therapy for accidents he stated had been sustained throughout torture by safety forces. The authorities deny any mistreatment.
The return of Kyagulanyi, a 36-year outdated pop star and reggae musician turned legislator, has rattled the federal government headed by the 74-year-old Museveni, who leads a nation the place almost 80 % of the inhabitants is below the age of 30.
On Thursday afternoon, two hours after Kyagulanyi’s flight landed at Entebbe Worldwide Airport, it was unclear the place he had been taken after police escorted him from the tarmac after he disembarked his flight.
A police official had stated he was being escorted to his house within the capital Kampala and was not below arrest. Shortly afterwards the official, who was not approved to talk on the document, instructed Reuters that Kyagulanyi had been taken to a police station in his neighborhood.
Concurrently, authorities spokesman Ofwono Opondo wrote on his Twitter feed that Kyagulanyi was inside his house.
It was not potential to achieve any consultant of Kyagulanyi for remark, and his whereabouts stay unclear.
Residents in his neighborhood instructed Reuters that that they had tried to attend for him on streets close to his house however had been chased away by safety forces.
A number of hundred supporters, lots of them carrying the colour pink which has come to be related to him, gathered outdoors the police station the place they believed he was being held.
Kyagulanyi is extensively seen as posing a big problem to Museveni, who has dominated since 1986.
His message – that younger Ugandans want a dynamic new head of state to sort out the myriad issues they face – has electrified residents who say they’re fed up with corruption, unemployment, and state repression of dissent.
The federal government denies allegations of corruption and of stifling opposition.
Kyagulanyi attracted a youth following by way of songs essential of Museveni and his prominence rose as a consequence of an incident in August through which his driver was shot useless and he was detained and charged with treason over what authorities stated was the stoning of the president’s convoy.
The politician, who has pleaded not responsible to the treason expenses, stated he was crushed with an iron bar in detention in northern Uganda. The federal government denies that he was mistreated.
Police had banned rallies to welcome Kyagulanyi house and stated on Wednesday that they might escort him to his house within the capital. The authorized foundation for the escort was unclear, and Kyagulanyi wrote on his Twitter feed earlier than flying house that he ought to be capable to journey freely in his nation.
Safety forces had deployed across the airport and the freeway linking it to Kampala forward of his arrival to forestall supporters from greeting him. Armored personnel carriers and police automobiles lined the freeway.
Witnesses stated the highway linking Kampala to Entebbe city about 50 km (30 miles) to the south was cordoned off, with armed police surrounding the airport.
In addition they stated that every one automobiles leaving Kampala on the highway to Entebbe had been checked at a number of roadblocks. Police prevented journalists from touring to the airport to cowl the arrival.
Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Writing by Maggie Fick; Enhancing by Angus MacSwan