UK parliament to debate Bobi Wine arrest next month

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Uganda East MP Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine

MPs in the United Kingdom House of Commons are set to debate the infamous Arua fracas in which a number of legislators were arrested and allegedly tortured at the hands of Ugandan security operatives.

The debate scheduled for January 8, 2019, will be drawn from a motion sponsored by Stockton South legislator, Dr Paul Williams. The motion was tabled on December 3, 2018, and has been put on the schedule for debate early next year. A total of 20 UK members of parliament have signed to support the motion.

Dr Williams is requesting the UK parliament to condemn the arrest and torture of Ugandan legislators and politicians and asking the House to pass a motion calling UK Prime Minister Theresa May and ministers to use the influence of the UK government together with the European Union, the United Nations, the Commonwealth and other transnational bodies to put in place initiatives that will promote democracy in Uganda.

“That this House condemns the arrest and subsequent torture of members of the Ugandan parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi…, Paul Mwiru, Francis Zaake, Gerald Karuhanga, and Kassiano Wadri, believing that arrest and the use of torture against elected legislators has no place in a democratic country,” the motion posted on UK parliament website reads.

The motion is accompanied by names and photos of the legislators who have supported it. Dr Williams posted the link of the motion on twitter captioned; “On 8th Jan, I shall be leading a debate in the UK parliament on democracy in Uganda. Ask your MP in the UK to sign my EDM condemning the torture of elected Ugandan MPs like Bobi Wine.”

He further uploaded a one minute video of Bobi Wine, asking the UK to support good governance in Uganda. A total of 34 people including the legislators named in the motion are currently facing treason charges in the Gulu Magistrate’s court. The case was early this month deferred to January 10, 2018, to give the state sufficient time to conclude investigations.

The charges followed the chaos that dominated the last day of campaigns ahead of the Arua Municipality by-election held in August.

It is alleged that Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine and his contemporaries commanded a team of youths that obstructed the president’s motorcade and pelted stones that smashed the windscreen of one of the vehicles in the convoy. In the aftermath, one Yasin Kawuma, a driver to Bobi Wine was shot dead

Days after the Arua incident, Williams raised an inquiry in the House, asking whether Theresa May’s government was concerned about the arrest and torture of MPs in Uganda.  In April he also requested the UK government to ask Museveni to retire, arguing that he has become an impediment to good governance.

“After 32 years in power, President Museveni has become a barrier to his country’s development and good governance includes leaving power. I urge the International Development secretary Penny Mordaunt to use the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to tell Uganda’s President Museveni that it’s time to go.

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