Court stops Police from blocking Bobi Wine, Bajjo and Abitex concerts

By Sania Babirye

Kampala high court judge Ester Nambayo has issued an order banning police from ever blocking any music concerts organized by Kyandondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobiwine and those organized by two Bivulu promoters Abe Musinguzi of Abetex entertainment and Andrew Mukasa of bajjo events and Market entertainment.

Last year, the two Bivulu promoters dragged police to the high court after Asuman Mugyenyi the assistant inspector General of police wrote a letter banning them from organizing the Kyarenga extra concerts countrywide .

AIGP Mugenyi had stated in the said letter that the said Kyarenga extra concerts had turned beyond entertainment but rather political

In her ruling, justice Nambayo has stated that it was unlawful for police to ban the said concerts since Mugyenyi had no powers to ban the said concerts on behalf of the Inspector General Police.

She ruled that the said letter dated 14th of April 2019 issued by AIGP Asuman Mugenyi on behalf of the IGP was unlawful and did not follow the due process.

Justice Nambayo has declared the said letter illegal and barred police from ever interfering in any concerts organized by Bobiwine, Bajjo or Abitex.

Court also ruled that police did not give the two a chance to defend themselves before banning their concerts.
However, Justice Nambayo has failed to award any compensation to Bajjo and Abitex for the alleged losses incurred due to the banned concerts.

These had told court that before police stopped their concerts, they had already made a deposit of 100 million shillings to Bobiwine out of the 200milion shillings and that money was never recovered.

On the 21st of May 2019, Banjo and Abitex petitioned the high court seeking orders to declare the 14th April directive to ban all kyarenga extra concerts of Bobi wine countrywide null and void.

Through renown city lawyer and also opposition politician Erias Lukwago, the applicants sued the inspector General of police and the government of Uganda through the attorney General.

These claimed that the said directive was unconstitutional since they were never given a fair hearing.

These also challenged their alleged violent arrest at Busabala one love beach on the 20th of april when one of the said Kyarenga concert was expected to take place.

They further claimed that other Kyarenga concerts had been organized in Gulu Arua among other places but were all concerned.

They had stated that the directive was unfair and unreasonable and a violation of their human Rights and sought court to declare the said directive null and void and instead ask court to order police to provide security at their future concerts instead of blocking them.

On the 10th of May 2019, the High court also dismissed an application in which Bobi wine had sued the Uganda Police of violating his rights to work and earn a living by banning his musical shows .

Presiding judge Harrieta Woloyo instead declined to stop police from blocking and interfering in Bobi wine’s music shows on grounds that Bobi Wine failed to demonstrate in his evidence how the banned music shows violated his rights to work , freedom of assembly, association and speech among other freedoms.

In her ruling, Justice Woloyo explained that Bobwine failed in his duty to prove to court on how the Uganda police and the Attorney General violated his rights.

The judge based her ruling on written submissions since she did not entertain oral submissions in the case.

On the 8th of October 2017, Bobi Wine petitioned the high court in which he claimed that he has lived all his adult life earning a living through live music performances until on 8th of October 2017 when police banned his shows while fronting security concerns.

In his defense, Bobiwine stated that the police’s reasons for blocking his musical shows were a b violation of his right to work and freedoms to speech, liberty and movement.

Through renowned Human rights lawyer Ladislous Rwakafuuzi , Bobi Wine claimed that he had since lost 300 million shillings for his cancelled shows at Colline Hotel Mukono, Kamuli, Busoga and in Kasese district where he had been invited and paid 20 million by his fellow legislator Jackson Mbaju to perform for his supporters in Busongora South County.

The banned shows we’re supposed to take place between 12th/ and 21st /October 2017 respectively.

Up-to-date police continues to prevent Bobiwine from holding any musical shows anywhere in Uganda including his beach in Busabala.