KAMPALA- Kyadondo East legislator Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine on Wednesday night squared off Uganda’s ambassador to the United States Mr. Mull Katende about his recent arrest and alleged torture, but many Ugandans did not get to watch the interview because of a power outage.
VOA’s Straight Talk Africa program on Wednesday featured the legislator and Ugandan Ambassador to the United States Mull Sebujja Katende.
On Aug. 13, Bobi Wine was accused of attacking the convoy of President Yoweri Museveni during clashes between opposition supporters and supporters of the government. Bobi Wine says the military shot his driver, Yasin Kawuma dead, in what appeared to be a shot aimed at the MP.
The next day, Bobi Wine and 33 others were arrested, “including four members of parliament,” he said.
Bobi Wine and 33 others including Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake are battling treason charges.
Bobi Wine in a show said he and the other detainees were brutally beaten, and that some sustained permanent injuries or are still in the hospital. He was later released and permitted to travel to the U.S. for medical specialized treatment.
Asked by VOA’s Shaka Ssali whether he believed Bobi Wine had been tortured, Mr. Katende said, “Uganda does not condone torture.” He also said there is no crisis in Uganda, only isolated incidents of criminality. He added, “Uganda remains committed to the tenets of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights.”
Bobi Wine responded, “The criminality is not being carried out by Ugandan citizens. It is actually being carried out by the armed forces. … If that’s not criminality, I wonder what it is.”
Bobi Wine said the men who beat him belonged to a section of the Ugandan military charged with guarding the president, [Special Forces Command].
“I was beaten, kept in handcuffs, a lot of despicable things were done to me. But I’m here, and I’m still alive,” he said.
While the interview was live-streaming, Uganda’s power authority tweeted that power had gone out “in most areas” because of a system failure.
Some Ugandans tweeted back to accuse the company of deliberately switching off the power to deny them access to the Voice of America [VOA] program and a local NBS Television who were telecasting the show live.