By our reporter
Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine has referred police’s ban of his music shows as ‘illegal’ and ‘unconstitutional’.
He says police’s action is a sign that President Yoweri Museveni’s regime is on its knees since they have resorted to use of unreasonable and autocratic laws to silence dissent.
Read Bobi Wine’s full statement;
ON THE ILLEGAL BANNING OF MY MUSIC CONCERTS*
Last night as I was preparing to write this statement about the illegal and wanton banning of my music shows, I received news of police brutally killing two unarmed citizens of Uganda and injuring many more in Rukungiri municipality.
Just like many other past events, this shows the extent to which this regime does not value human life and the extent to which they will go to keep in power against the will of Ugandans- even if it means killing people in cold blood!
These actions must be condemned by all people of good conscience. Rest in peace compatriots. You died in line of duty- in the service of your country. The task of those who remain is to ensure that your blood is not shed in vain and we must pledge to continue the work until Uganda is free.
Those who are responsible for these actions should remember that there will soon be an hour of payment. You will answer for this someday.Learn from history!
President Museveni each day makes it clear that he came by the gun, lives by the gun and is constantly provoking Ugandans into thinking that by the gun he must go. All I know is that we don’t need guns to set our country free. History agrees with us that people power is louder than any number of guns.
Today nothing has ever united all Ugandans like this campaign against life presidency. People in all regions, religions, political parties, professions, etc.- people from all walks of life are saying- “TOJIKWATAKO.”
If this regime still had any sense of direction, they would listen and accept the will of the people and not put themselves in a constant collision with the people. I want to assure them, the side of the people shall ultimately win. Uganda shall win.
Returning to the illegal and unconstitutional ban of my music concerts, this too is a sign of a regime on its knees. Throughout history, when dictatorships realize that the people have resoundingly rejected them, they resort to all forms of unreasonable and autocratic laws to silence dissent. So far they have cancelled three of my shows one in Kasese, another in Kamuli and now in Mukono. For the past two shows we had obtained all the clearances, only to be told on last minute that I would not be allowed to perform in the fear that I would utter some ‘political statements’!
Now, I was planning another music concert in Mukono on 21st October, and the Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander, one Frank Mwesigwa illegally denied us permission to proceed with the concert. Reason? That I uttered inciting statements to the public at Busabala! Last evening I received a letter summoning me to Kibuli Police today to record a statement in respect to these same trumped up charges.
While at One Love Beach Busabala last Sunday, people in their thousands turned up and we had fun all night. During my performance, as always WE THE PEOPLE took off some time to talk about the future of our country in word and song. Although I had been ‘warned’ by some unpatriotic elements within the police not to talk about the constitution during the show, I could not accept self-censorship in order to please some anti-people elements!
The regime now wants to write for me lyrics for what I sing. What a shame!
As they listened to music and danced the night away, the throngs of people- young and old, consciously made it clear that they want a better Uganda, and that to achieve that, dictatorship and life presidency must be resisted and rejected.
Let me say this to my music fans and all Ugandans- We are on the right side of the law and most importantly, we are on the right side of history. As everyone knows, this is not prosecution. It is simply persecution. To them, I must sing in support of the dictatorship or not be allowed to sing. In fact, I have always been approached by some of these people with requests that I sing in support of the dictatorship or at least keep quiet. Several offers have been made to turn me into one of their puppets. But I rejected them flat. They told me recently that they will block my shows and frustrate my businesses until I run broke. Too bad for them, they have been made to believe that money is everything. They wrongly think that by stopping my shows they impoverish me, break my firmness and compromise my values.
I have said this to them in private and I repeat it in public- I Kyagulanyi Ssentamu – Bobi Wine, shall never sell my soul to the devil. I shall never use my voice to sing for a dictatorship that is running our country to hell. I shall never sing to console the enemies of the people. I shall never use my voice to betray my country. And yes, I shall always sing about the plight of our people. Their voice shall be my voice. I shall always sing for a better Uganda, because friends, this is the only home we have- whatever is still left of it, we are Ugandans.
You notice that when some of my colleague artists sing political songs in support of the regime- the real inciting songs because they get most people angry, the police doesn’t come out to stop them. In fact, they are given police protection! You can perform ‘tubonga naawe’ anywhere, anyday without restriction. But the dictatorship gets worked up over any song which exposes their evil. The regime can’t take it any longer. They call it incitement, hateful! They forget that they are already exposed and such acts work to expose them more.
The tragedy of Uganda is that it has several lawyers in positions of leadership who continue to make fools of themselves. The Police itself is headed by lawyers. They have misread their job-description to mean that they must every day BREAK and ABUSE, every single law with IMPUNITY beginning with the CONSTITUTION. No institution in this country epitomizes institutional breakdown as does the police.
THE URGENCY TO REDEEM OUR COUNTRY IS REAL.
Article 211(3) of the Constitution provides that “The Uganda Police Force shall be NATIONALISTIC, PATRIOTIC, PROFESSIONAL, DISCIPLINED, COMPETENT and productive; and its members shall be citizens of Uganda of good character.” When you read these words and see what the police leadership does, one cannot help but wonder how shameless they can be. DO THEY HAVE SOULS?? Do they care about the law? Do they care about this country? How does one sleep peacefully at night after doing what they do?
Of course as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. I am always encouraged by some police officers, especially the young men and women, who each day share their frustrations. They come to arrest you but whisper to you “WE ARE WITH YOU IN THE STRUGGLE.” They fully understand that the orders given to them are illegal and unconstitutional. They are fully aware that they are some of the worst victims of this badly run country. At the right time, they shall side with the people and sing with every Ugandan “FREE AT LAST.”
Finally, we shall use all legal measures to challenge these violations and reassert our God given rights. We are petitioning court but also taking all other lawful measures to ensure that our freedom of assembly, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of movement, economic rights etc. do not continue to be infringed upon by a partisan police leadership.
Our people’s freedom to assemble and enjoy music cannot be taken away by a stroke of someone’s pen. We shall record songs and they will be listened to. We shall awaken our people. Our people shall arise, and they shall liberate their country. Oppressed people shall not always be oppressed. WE SHALL OVERCOME.