Protests after the arrest of Ugandan pop musician and opposition leader Bobbi Wine have resulted in at least 37 deaths this week. Wine, accused of holding mass rallies in corona violation, was released on bail on Friday.
From government-critical pop star to opposition leader
The preliminary death toll was on Reuters provided by a police pathologist.
Authorities in Uganda have deployed the army to disperse protesters in and around the capital Kampala. In addition to the use of rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas, live ammunition was also used. Hundreds of protesters were arrested.
Pop star Wine, who is actually called Robert Kyagulanyi, was arrested on Wednesday while campaigning in the east of the country. He allegedly violated the corona rules with his election rallies.
“Museveni should be on the dock here for killing innocent civilians,” said the opposition leader at his televised arraignment. He was referring to his rival, dictator Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled the country since 1986.
Wine is the party leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP), a party that, thanks to its leadership, is doing particularly well with Ugandan young people. As a musician he is known for his government-critical song lyrics.
The opposition leader believes that Museveni should retire. Wine says his own childhood in the slums allows him to understand the struggles of ordinary, impoverished Ugandans.
His arrest almost immediately sparked demonstrations in Kampala and other major cities across Uganda. Young people blocked roads with burning tires and other materials and erected barricades to stop traffic. They called for Wine’s immediate release.