KAMPALA. The police on Friday arrested 20 more city suburb residents in Kamwokya demanding the release of detained Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine.
The residents were netted in a swoop overseen by Kampala North regional police commander Michael Musana.
The protests were sparked off on Thursday after news spread of the brutal arrest, torture and detention of Mr Kyagulanyi by the army.
The residents are demanding that the army and police free Mr Kyagulanyi, who they refer to as their “liberator from 30 years of suffering.”
They also vowed to continue the protests as long as Mr Kyagulanyi, who they referred to as “our president,” remains in detention.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said the suspects had been detained at Kira Road Division police headquarters in Kampala.
“We have arrested more suspects and we are going to charge them with illegal demonstrations. Our offices are still on the ground to contain the situation,” Mr Owoyesigyire said.
Earlier on Thursday, the police had arrested 15 other people they described as ringleaders of an unlawful protest.
Mr Owoyesigyire said: “Those we arrested earlier were charged in court and have been remanded. The ones we have arrested today (Friday) are in our cells but they will also soon be taken to court.”
Mr Kyagulanyi was arrested by soldiers on Monday in Arua Municipality where he had gone to rally support for now MP-elect Kassiano Wadri in the Arua Municipality by-election held on Wednesday.
The soldiers, reportedly belonging to President Museveni’s protection force, the Special Forces Command, attacked Mr Kyagulanyi in a hotel, accusing him and other pro-Wadri supporters of being behind the group that were said to have pelted stones at one of the cars in President Museveni’s motorcade.
The army charged a semi-conscious and unresponsive Mr Kyagulanyi on Thursday and later airlifted him from Guru army barracks to Makindye Military barracks in Kampala.
His co-accused MPs, including Mr Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Mr Paul Mwiru (Jinja East), Mr Kassiano Wadri (Arua Municipality MP-elect), former Makindye East Mike Mabikke, and 29 others were charged with treason in Gulu and remanded up to August 30.
Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake was not charged but was later dumped at Rubaga Hospital in Kampala on Thursday night by men in military uniform.
MPs, lawyers, relatives and friends who visited both MPs Kyagulanyi and Zaake said they were left in critical condition following their torture.
In both the Thursday and Friday operations, police fired teargas in most of the villages and corridors within Kamwokya to disperse the charged crowd that lit tyres in the middle of roads and pelted stones at police officers. Teargas canisters landed in schools where pupils were hurt while others fainted.
The police also broke into a house belonging to the family of Mr Kyagulanyi before firing teargas inside where some children of his brother, Fred Nyanzi, had taken refuge.
But Kampala North regional police commander Michael Musani said it was legal for police to storm into any building provided they have a search warrant.
He said the police would camp in Kamokya until the situation is calmed.
Family speaks out
Mr Kyagulanyi’s elder brother, Mr Eddie Yawe, who visited his brother alongside the MP’s wife Barbra Itungo Kyagulanyi, said they do not trust the government with their brother after finding him in a very sorry state.
He said Mr Kyagulanyi’s face was swollen and his face unrecognizable, with some body parts broken and could only limp with the support of at least four people.
“He is not okay, he is deformed and you can hardly identify him. We went with our doctor but they refused to let us inside with him.
I was devastated and broken on seeing my brother looking like something I have never seen before. His head is in danger because it looks disfigured and his legs are also sagging,” Yawe tearfully said.