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Government scoffs at Bobi Wine over Trump petition

L-R: A photo montage of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias

Bobi Wine his lawyer Robert Amsterdam and US President Donald Trump.

By James Kabengwa

A petition by Lawyers of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine to the White House has outlined gross rights abuses and lack of rule of law.

The petition comes after the US embassy in Kampala voiced similar concerns in a statement to government.

Bobi Wine’s lawyer Robert Amsterdam in a six-page petition dated April 25, 2019 asked the attention of President Donald Trump to brief him on the current political situation in Uganda. The government blocked Bobi Wine shows and put him under house arrest. The MP is now wanted at CID to answer to unspecified charges. Mr Kyagulanyi who declared presidential ambitions is now free after police officers withdrew from his house in Magere, Wakiso District.

Bobi Wine confirmed the petition to Trump on Saturday Morning and explained that they wanted as much as possible to draw the attention of various key players to the plight of Ugandans. “Yes, we want to make our country’s situation [known] to as many players as possible,” he said by telephone.

The petition talks about Bobi’s curtailed freedoms, Kasese killings of 2016, the violence in Arua last year, suppression of the media freedoms and government’s meddling into electro and judicial processes. But the Government has rubbished all these accusations and advised Bobi Wine and his lawyer to stop wasting time.

State minister for international cooperation, Henry Okello Oryem

State minister for international cooperation, Okello Oryem said: “He [Bobi Wine] is sadly naive and still in a dream if he thinks the White House will leave everything it’s doing- campaigning and promoting “America First” to waste time attending to some small time amateurish African politician”.

“My brother should by now realise that we have seen and been in a more less identical situation before, it was effectively handled by [this elected] government and all that time the same White House was there at the time,” Mr Oryem said on Saturday.

Senseless rants

The deputy director of the Uganda Media Centre Col. Shaban Bantariza also commented on Bobi Wine petition to the White House and called it “senseless and unhelpful” rant.

“Bobi [Wine] has the stage, let him tell the world how he will do things differently. He needs to be advised that quislings has failed in the past. His predecessors tried them and they failed,” Mr Bantariza said.

“The only constituency for Bobi to get power is through Ugandans and not Washington DC.

Let Bobi Wine know that a call to freeze aid to Uganda would not only affect government, if it occurred anyway, but Bobi Wine as well.”

The deputy director of the Uganda Media Centre Col. Shaban Bantariza

He added: “Our development partners give us loans which we repay. It is not free money. If Amsterdam is through with America, let him rally Japan, China, Britain all to freeze our loans.”

On Kasese issues, Bantariza said that issues are being handled by courts of law while there are also negotiations behind curtains, adding that elections in Uganda are free and fair.

Amsterdam’s petition to White House cited the clashes between security agencies and Opposition leaders which he says emanate from people like Bobi Wine critiquing government excesses.

He also complained that he was privileged to meet Mr Kyagulanyi in Berlin where the MP outlined not only his program for Uganda’s future development, but his fears for the continuation of any form of opposition activity at the present moment in time.

He also cited the previous corruption cases involving the misuse of billions of dollars in various programs such as Global Fund for AIDS TB and Malaria and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.

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