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Uganda's Wine charged with 'annoying' the president

August 6, 2019

The 37-year-old opposition figure was charged while in court to face a separate treason charge. Bobi Wine says he wants to challenge longtime President Yoweri Museveni in an upcoming election.

Bobi Wine
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/AP/R. Kabuubi

Ugandan rapper-turned-opposition activist Bobi Wine was charged with intending to "annoy, alarm or ridicule" the president during a court appearance on Tuesday.

"This government of President [Yoweri] Museveni is in panic mode. At first it was treason and now it is annoying President Museveni. Who on earth can't be annoyed?" Wine told the AFP news agency.

"It is a ridiculous charge and am ready to challenge it in court," he said.

Read more: Uganda: Bobi Wine threatens Museveni's three decades rule

Wine also faces a treason charge for his involvement in an opposition rally last year that saw some protesters stone Museveni's convoy.

Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, said he was tortured in prison after his subsequent arrest. The government denies any wrongdoing.

The high court is expected to rule on the charge. No date has yet been set.

Bobi Wine talks politics with DW

Mysterious death of Wine supporter

The court appearance came as Wine urged police to probe the kidnapping and torture of one of his supporters by unknown assailants.

"He was abducted and subjected to horrendous forms of torture. His left eye was plucked out, two of his fingers cut off and parts of his body were burnt with a flat iron," Wine wrote on Facebook.

Read more: Bobi Wine: The changing face of Ugandan politics

Police said Monday that they had opened an investigation into the death.

Wine, who has been arrested multiple times, entered parliament in 2017 and is among the fiercest critics of Museveni. He plans to run in national elections in 2021.

The 74-year-old president has been in power since 1986. Last year, he changed the rules on term limits to allow him to stay in office until 2030.

Bobi Wine to challenge Museveni for Ugandan presidency

amp/msh (AFP, dpa, AP)

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