free bobi wine protests erupt in uganda
While speaking on the recent free Bobi Wine protests, Museveni said, the government will compensate the families of those who died and weren't rioters. FILE PHOTO

Museveni said that of the 54 people who died as a result of the free Bobi Wine protests, 32 of them were involved in the riots, others were hit by stray bullets. 

President Yoweri Museveni has highlighted that government will compensate the families of all those that unfortunately lost their lives during the recent protests by a section of Ugandans demanding the release of Bobi Wine who had been detained at Nalufenya Police Station.

On November 18, the National Unity Platform (NUP) president, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine was arrested and detained in Nalufenya Police Station for violating COVID-19 guidelines. 

Following his arrest, several Ugandans rushed to the streets to burn tyres and rubbish in the middle of the roads as well as aim stones towards the police officers as an expression of their dissatisfaction.

This prompted the police to respond to the action by firing tear gas and live bullets to disperse the crowds. Days later, the police released a statement confirming that over 50 people had died due to the effects posed by the riots while many were also left injured.

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However, while addressing the nation during a digitalised address on Sunday evening, President Museveni cleared the air that government will compensate the families of those who lost their lives provided they were not protestors.

Museveni said that of the 54 people who died as a result of the effects caused by the free Bobi Wine protests, 32 of them were involved in the riots, others were hit by stray bullets while two victims were knocked by a vehicle that lost control after the driver was hit by stones.

“When Amuriat and Kyagulanyi who are presidential candidates were arrested on the 18th, those politicial elements I am talking about started to execute their plan by burning tyres, blocking roads, attacking people with NRM uniforms,” Museveni said

“Unfortunately, 54 people died in this confusion. 32 of the dead were rioters. Others were hit by stray bullets, and two victims were knocked by a vehicle that lost control after the driver was hit by stones.”

Also, the President who defended the Police’s reaction towards the rioters said that it is criminal to attack security forces by throwing stones or trying to disarm them.

Museveni said that many officers more so those in the upcountry districts do not have anti-riot equipment as a result the public uses this opportunity to hit them with stones.

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“It is criminal to attack security forces by throwing stones or trying to disarm them. You aren’t doing anyone a favor to keep the law, you are obligated to do so by the Constitution. We don’t have to have riot gear at all police posts,” Museveni added.

“Many police officers upcountry dont have anti-riot equipment, and they shouldn’t have. It’s the duty of everyone to keep order. Despite the weaknesses of the police that allows such impunity to persist, the overall security system of Uganda is robust.”

free bobi wine protests erupt in uganda
While speaking on the recent free Bobi Wine protests, Museveni said, the government will compensate the families of those who died and weren’t rioters. FILE PHOTO

The President further lashed out at some opposition politicians who feel untouchable. He said that they have misled people into fighting with the police and attacking supporters of the ruling NRM party.

He issued a strong warning to all those who attack NRM supporters that they will be dealt with accordingly. 

“There is nothing I don’t know. You can play whatever games you want, but we shall defeat you,” Museveni warned.

“The idea that some politicians are untouchable and supporters would riot if they are arrested is not acceptable and must never be repeated. Anybody with ears should hear this; nobody shall ever attack anyone wearing the NRM uniform. The perpetrators have seen the consequences.”