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Bobi Wine charged with treason. Will this be Museveni’s joker against a rising opponent?

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Uganda’s vocal legislator, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, who is popularly known as Bobi Wine has been charged with treason, in the aftermath of the deadly clashes that rocked the West Nile town of Arua on the last day of campaigns to elect a member of parliament for the municipality.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Moses Ali told parliament on Wednesday that Bobi Wine, who was campaigning for independent candidate in the race, Kassiano Wadri will face the Army Court Martial on Thursday.

Bobi Wine was arrested along with other legislators and opposition supporters, including Wadri after police accused them of attacking president Yoweri Museveni’s convoy on Monday.

The incumbent President betrayed his emotions Wednesday, slightly coming short of publicly pronouncing Wine guilty of sponsoring the attack against him.

“It is a big shame to have such confused people who want to use violence to intimidate Ugandans. Nobody has a right to intimidate any Ugandan by word or action,” said Museveni.

“Fortunately, my convoy did not react with fire in response to this attack. This was because we were not equipped for anti-riots. Our intervention could have resulted into people’s death because we only had live bullets.

“We went to the bush to fight for the right of making political decisions by Ugandans without intimidation by word or action. Anybody who threatens this will have himself to blame,” he added.

The state has levied the following charges against Bobi Wine:
• Police spokesperson of north-western region, Josephine Angucia told journalists that Bobi Wine and Wadri are to be charged with malicious damage to the motorvehicle belonging to the convoy of the President.
• Bobi Wine is also charged with unlawful possession of firearms.
• Angucia also confirmed that both Bobi Wine and Wadri have been charged with treason.

Police in Arua reportedly recovered two submachine guns and a pistol from Bobi Wine and Wadri.

Read More: Uganda opposition figure detained after his driver is slain

‘’Kassiano Wadri was arrested with one pistol, which had 12 rounds of ammunition(…) It was found with him during the time of his arrest. He even confessed that he is licensed to have it,’‘ Angucia said.

“For that matter, all have been charged with treason, unlawful possession of firearms, that is for the case of Kyagulanyi Robert and malicious damage to the motorvehicle belonging to the convoy of the President.”

Residents of Arua cast their votes on Wednesday, and vote counting is underway to determine who will replace the deceased Ibrahim Abiriga, who was gunned down in mysterious circumstances in June this year.

Wine is no stranger to controversy.

In 2009, he was accused of punching rival artiste Bebe Cool (Wine reportedly holds a professional boxing licence).

Then the Kampala Capital City Authority, the agency that runs the Ugandan capital, came for him one time, accusing him of constructing a building without following zoning procedures.

Somehow, he broke free of both accusations and his music flourished.

Then the politics started.

When Uganda went to elections in 2016, Wine stayed from the pool of artistes like Chameleone who had collaborated to sing a campaign song for veteran President Yoweri Museveni.

To him, there was nothing knew the old man was offering, having recycled policies, and failed to implement them, for three decades.

It was the first signal of what was to come.

In June 29, 2017, the musician joined politics proper after defeating National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidates to win the Kyadondo East parliamentary seat as an independent candidate.

Politics

South Africa: Parliament reelects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Julius Malema, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighter, was also put forward for the nation’s presidency, necessitating a vote in parliament to determine the winner.

With a majority of votes in the National Assembly, Chief Justice Ramaphosa was proclaimed president. Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, received 44 votes, while Ramaphosa received 283.

The Democratic Alliance party said earlier in the day that it would support Ramaphosa in the election as part of a deal to establish a unity government with the African National Congress.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Out of the 400 seats in the recently elected National Assembly, 246 are held by the ANC and DA.

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Politics

Niamey court revokes immunity of overthrown Nigerien president

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The State Court of Niamey has revoked the immunity of Niger’s deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum, signalling the start of criminal proceedings against him by the junta, according to a statement from his attorneys on Friday.

In July of last year, a military coup overthrew Bazoum. Since then, he and his spouse have remained in custody despite numerous requests for his release from Western nations and the ECOWAS regional political and economic grouping.

 

Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the junta’s spokesperson, stated on state television in August that the military government had “gathered the necessary evidence to prosecute the ousted president and his local and foreign accomplices for high treason and for undermining the internal and external security of Niger before competent national and international authorities.”

In a statement, one of his attorneys, Moussa Coulibaly, claimed that the court’s ruling cleared the path for Bazoum to face charges of treason and conspiracy to compromise state security.

The court proceedings “violated (ed) the absolute rights of the defence: we were not authorised to meet our client and the court refused to hear our arguments,” he added.

It was not immediately able to get in contact with the Niger government for a response. Because of Bazoum’s interactions with foreign heads of state and international organizations, the junta declared last year that it would bring high treason charges against him.

Following 2020, there have been eight coups in West and Central Africa that have brought the military government to power. Calls for Bazoum’s reinstatement have gone unanswered, including by the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which declared last year that his arrest was unjustified.

According to Bazoum’s attorneys, he and his spouse had never appeared before a magistrate. Lawyers said that since October, when their phone line at the White House was taken away, they have been cut off from the outside world and are only permitted to have visitors from their doctor.

Mohamed Bazoum Salem, the 23-year-old son of the deposed president, was given provisional parole from house imprisonment by the Niger military tribunal in January.

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