Uganda pop star returns to stage after arrest

Written By: BBC News
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Uganda pop star returns to stage after arrest
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The Ugandan pop star turned opposition MP Bobi Wine has performed for the first time since being charged and jailed for treason.

There was a heavy police presence for the show, which was only allowed because it was a non-political event.

Bobi Wine has alleged he was tortured and beaten while in custody in August, something denied by the authorities.

His popularity among Uganda’s youth is seen as a challenge to veteran President Yoweri Museveni.

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Many among the thousands attending the concert wore red, the colour associated with Bobi Wine’s ‘people power’ political movement.

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“I thank Uganda police for providing us security and not stopping us as they have always done,” the performer told the crowd, AFP reported.

“We are a peaceful people but we want to be listened to.”

The 36-year-old MP, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, stood and won as an independent candidate in a by-election last year in Kyadondo East, central Uganda.

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In August he and more than 30 other opposition politicians were charged with treason after the president’s convoy was allegedly pelted with stones after a campaign rally.

He left Uganda for treatment in the US for injuries he said he received under detention but returned in September.

Three-quarters of Uganda’s population is under the age of 35 and Bobi Wine has become a rallying figure for a youth angry at poor job prospects and stagnant politics, correspondents say.

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Bobi Wine was born four years before Mr Museveni first became president in 1986 and has been calling for him to retire at the next elections, in 2021.

The self-declared “ghetto president” is yet to say whether he wants to run himself.

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