Uganda’s Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda on Tuesday, quietly visited Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu who is currently detained at Makindye Military Barracks.
A reporter attached to local new agency, URN, was at Makindye Military Barracks when Rugunda black Toyota Land Cruiser exited the barracks gate at 11:20 a.m. Rugunda had one escort car with four guards. A source at the barracks confirmed that Rugunda visited Kyagulanyi at the barracks today.
But details about the visit are scanty. The Prime Minister himself did not pick repeated phone calls from our reporter, who had sought an interview on the visit and the condition in which Kyagulanyi could have been, at the time of the visit. “I can’t talk now. Please send me a message,” he texted. He did not respond to text messages sent afterwards.
When contacted for a comment, Julius Mucunguzi, the Communications Advisor to the Prime Minister said; “I am not aware of the visit by the Prime Minister to Makindye. I am aware that the Prime Minister’s residence is in Makindye, so it is possible you saw his convoy on the routine movements in the area.”
Bobi Wine and other legislators were arrested on Monday last week in Arua on the last day of Municipality by-election campaign. Other arrested MPs include Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga, Arua municipality MP-elect Kassiano Wadri, Jinja East MP Paul Mwiru and Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake as well as other 30 people. Zaake is currently admitted at Lubaga Hospital, receiving treatment.
Rugunda’s visit comes on the heel of contradicting statements from legislators who have visited Bobi Wine at Makindye. On Sunday, a team of legislators led by Peter Ogwang, the Usuk MP said that contrary to initial reports that Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, was tortured and was in a dire state, they found him in good shape.
“Hon Kyagulanyi hugged and smiled at us, talked freely with us. He commended the UPDF doctors for taking good care of him medically. I am not shy to say that indeed he has a few bruises on his face but he is in a good state,” Ogwang said.
Other MPs who were with Ogwang include Workers MP Rwakajara Arinaitwe, Amolatar MP Doreen Amule, Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among, and Makindye East MP Ibrahim Kasozi.
But Kasozi disputed Ogwang’s statement that Bobi Wine was fine. “You know because Kyagulanyi has a golden heart, even in pain, you could see his smile. They interpreted that as being fine. But he could not sit on his own, he could not stand on his own,” Kasozi said.
When this cohort of MPs was at Makindye, Kyagulanyi spoke to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga on phone. Kasozi told URN that Bobi Wine asked the speaker and MPs to fight for his rights, to be released so that he can get adequate medical attention.
Rugunda could face tough questions from legislators during tomorrow parliament session on the state of Bobi Wine’s health. There have been pleas from his family, lawyers and civil society who have been calling for Bobi Wine’s release so that he can get medication.