Police Hunt Man Seen With Pistol at Bobi Wine’s Mbarara Rally

Supporters of NUP leader Bobi Wine claimed the politician was being trailed by a man holding a pistol during his visit to Mbarara City in late August 2023. PHOTO/COURTESY

Police and Law enforcement authorities are on the hunt for an unidentified man who was caught on video wielding a pistol amidst a massive crowd gathered for the opposition politician Robert Kyagulanyi, commonly known as Bobi Wine. The incident took place during Bobi’s nationwide tour in Mbarara District on August 28, 2023.

Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, addressed the issue during a press briefing in Kampala. He stated, “The man was holding a pistol. Fortunately, we have the images, and our intelligence agencies are actively working to identify this individual and determine how he came into possession of a pistol. It is currently under investigation.”

Enanga continued, “The investigation will reveal whether the person is affiliated with the NUP (National Unity Platform) party or an outsider.”

Images of the unidentified man, seated in a car while openly displaying a pistol, circulated on social media, sparking concerns about the safety and security of attendees at Bobi’s rallies.

Enanga emphasized the dangers of having a pistol in a procession or political gathering, highlighting the potential risks to the large crowds present. He urged event organizers to collaborate with the police and security forces to ensure the safety of all participants.

In addition to addressing the pistol incident, Enanga issued a caution to opposition political parties regarding potential terror threats. He urged them to remain vigilant as they travel across the country, as credible intelligence sources had indicated vulnerability during their mobilization activities.

Enanga explained, “Some of these mobilization tours are vulnerable, especially in the manner they are conducted, with convoys moving at a slow pace, traffic disruptions, congestion, and the use of local and untrained private guards who are not skilled. Some guards stand on top of vehicles amidst thousands of supporters, making them potential targets for terrorists.”

He suggested that security agencies can guarantee the safety of political meetings when they are held in town halls and enclosed settings with restricted numbers of participants, proper checks, and good access controls.

Enanga also urged NUP leadership to work closely with district security committees for comprehensive security planning.

This caution from the police follows the recent discovery of six unexploded Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Kampala suburbs.

In 2020, Bobi Wine survived a number of attempted assassinations while campaigning.

In 2018, Bobi Wine’s driver, Yasin Kuwuma, was shot dead in Arua in a scuffle, and many people believed that it was an attempt to assassinate Bobi Wine.

In 2020, Bobi Wine survived another attempted assassination while campaigning, which saw one of the journalists who was next to him covering his campaign trial shot in the head.

Several of Bobi Wine’s supporters were arrested, and others were killed. In the November 2020 protests, at least 56 people were killed, with several others severely injured.

Bobi will on Tuesday proceed to Fort Portal City for a mobilisation drive and on Wednesday close the Western trip in Kasese District.

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