The “people power” wave in Uganda started with Wine’s election victory. In June he overwhelmingly won the Kyadondo East seat with a 78 per cent victory, despite being a first timer in elective politics.
His slogan was “people power”, with the tagline “Situka Uganda”, loosely translated as “wake up Uganda”. His campaign slowly lit a fire amongst Uganda’s massive young population, with equal intensity for educated and uneducated, making him an immediate darling of the people.
The outpouring of love for Wine translated into five victories in parliamentary by-elections for candidates he supported, the latest victory the Arua district by-election. The aftermath saw the musician’s arrest – along with more than 33 opposition supporters – and the murder of his driver on 13 August.
The arrest was carried out by the military and Wine was charged for illegal possession of firearms before a court martial, despite being a civilian. This sparked various online campaigns for his release, notably under the hashtags #FreeBobiWine and #Arua33, with images of him beaten and bruised shared online. The charge was dropped after Wine spent 11 days in a military detention facility in Makindye barracks.
On 20 August 2018, protests broke out in different part of Kampala, Uganda’s capital, with protestors demanding the government free Wine.
What followed was the beating and arrest of several of the journalists covering the #FreeBobiWine protests. Pictures and video made by a Twitter user however, alerted the public to the crackdown. Many of the journalists detained were forced to delete footage and had equipment confiscated. Their crime was telling the truth, and capturing the brutality of the Ugandan army.
A popular image online, for example, shows Reuters photojournalist Jimmy Akena being beaten by a soldier while on his knees. Akena later shared on his Facebook page images of him in a hospital bed with a bruised head and broken finger.
Because someone had taken a picture and posted it online, the story exploded; social media provided a ripple effect demanding justice, threatening a Ugandan government that has for a long time clamped down on the media.
Not long after the story gained traction, a Ugandan army spokesperson issued a statement condemning the beating of journalists, and promised arrests of the officers responsible.
Bobi Wine’s Staement
However today after being released on bond by the Gulu Chief Magistrate court, the Kyandodo East Member Of Parliament has spoke out to his people in a message he goes like this “BOBI WINE :” THE BATTLE AT GULU COURT WAS WON BY YOU THE PEOPLE OF UGANDA.THERE WILL BE MORE BATTLES TO BE WON, AND FINALLY WE SHALL WIN THE FINAL WAR” #WE ARE STRONG TOGETHER, #PEOPLE POWER