Ugandan police detained pop star-turned-MP Bobi Wine on Monday after shutting down one of his concerts and firing tear gas at his fans, the singer’s wife and supporters said.
“He has been arrested in Busabala, where he was to address the media on the cancellation of his concert by the police,” Wine’s wife Barbie Itungo Kyagulanyi told AFP, referring to a suburb in southern Kampala.
Ugandan police spokesman Fred Enanga confirmed that officers “engaged him earlier and drove him away from Busabala” but would not say if he was formally arrested.
Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was scheduled to perform Monday but the much-anticipated show was cancelled by police.
His attempt to reach the venue on the shores of Lake Victoria, flanked by dozens of supporters, was blocked by police who fired tear gas and water cannon at his convoy.
Before being detained, Wine posted on Twitter that police were trying to tow the singer’s car away.
“People teargassed, beaten, Many arrested. We shall overcome… Stand firm,” he wrote.
Later, a post on his Twitter account signed “admin” said the singer had been “violently arrested”.
Police said the concert was cancelled because inadequate safety measures were put in place.
Wine is among the most prominent critics of Uganda’s longtime President Yoweri Museveni, and authorities have repeatedly blocked him from performing publically.
Young Ugandans have recently been energised by the singer-MP, who has become a thorn in the side of the government through his songs about social justice.
© Agence France-Presse