The USA embassy in Kampala has released a statement condemning Uganda government for blocking music concerts for singer cum politician, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine.
In the statement dated April 23, the US Mission to Uganda urges government to respect its citizen’s rights, among which include; Assembly and expression.
“Today we join the many Ugandans asking why their government has recently blocked musical concerts and radio talk shows, disrupted peaceful demonstrations and rallies, and deployed heavy-handed security forces against peaceful citizens,” the statement reads in part.
“Uganda’s constitution guarantees freedom of assembly and expression. We echo the Ugandan people in calling on the government to respect these rights. Strong leaders and states do not stifle speech – they allow their citizens to participate fully and without fear in a vibrant multi-party democracy,” the statement continues.
The government has however dismissed the concerns, claiming that in deed government of Uganda respects rule of law and constitutionalism which guarantees freedom of assembly expression and movement.
“Government expects all leaders to abide by these standards and cooperate with law enforcement officers in the conduct of their activities. Save for one artiste, all artistes in Uganda enjoy freedom of performance and the media platforms are as free. Equally all politicians enjoy free access to these media platforms,” government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said.
Yesterday, Police blocked a music concert for Bobi Wine claiming he did not fulfil the necessary requirements to hold the concert at his One Love beach in Busabala.
Bobi Wine insisted he would hold the show but was snatched out of his car, and dashed back home where he was ordered not to leave.
The singer also rallied supporters whom he urged to escort him to Police Headquarters in Naguru where he was due to deliver a letter explaining to police why he should not have concerts blocked, but he was intercepted and retained in his compound.
This is not the first time that Bobi Wine is having concerts blocked. In December last year, a concert he had organised at his beach on boxing day flopped after he was told to end preparations.
A month before, police had stopped the singer from organising concerts in Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.