A global justice movement to free detained Ugandan musician turned member of parliament Bobi Wine, has proved fruitful after the military court on Thursday dropped charges of unlawfully possessing firearms.
Real name Robert Kyagulanyi, the pop star was immediately rearrested by the police to face a civilian court for treason. He will be tried at the Chief Magistrates Court.
The military court’s decision follows a global movement and protests demanding his release after he was reported to have been tortured, a claim the military and government have denied.
Bobi Wine, who was arrested with four other MPs and dozens of others after campaigning in a by-election in Arua in the north of the country, has been a fierce critic of the government.
He is being accused of masterminding the attack on President Yoweri Museveni’s convoy which was pelted with stones as the entered the town to support a candidate.
Museveni’s security forces then invaded Bobi Wine’s hotel where his driver who was sitting in the front passenger seat where Bobi Wine usually sits, was shot in the head at close range and killed.
This was followed by mass arrests of hotel staff, MPs, journalists and later Bobi Wine who was never heard of again after he tweeted about a suspected assassination attempt by the government.
Kenyan musicians organised a Freedom Concert on Wednesday for the release of Bobi Wine and the 33 others arrested with him. On Thursday, they planned a march towards the Ugandan embassy in Kenya for the same cause.
Ugandans in the United States also protested on Wednesday in Washington DC for the release of the popular MP.