Kampala – The death toll from protests against the arrest of Ugandan presidential candidate and musician Bobby Wayne has risen to 37, police said Friday. This is the country’s worst unrest in a decade, and more are expected before elections early next year.
A Ugandan Police Pathologist and Head of Police Health Services told reporters in the capital, Kampala, that they had counted 37 bodies by Thursday morning.
The protests erupted on Wednesday after police arrested Wayne, who was expected to appear in court on Thursday in the eastern town of Ijanga. Police accuse him of violating COVID-19 guidelines that require presidential candidates to address fewer than 200 people.
Police said 350 people were arrested and detained across Kampala. Tensions continued in the capital on Thursday, with the heavy army and police deployed.
Wayne, who has been arrested several times in recent years, has captured the imagination of many Ugandans by his constant calls for President Yoweri Museveni to retire after 36 years in power.
Speaking to reporters, Security Minister General Eli Tomwin warned the protesters that they would be dealt with if they continued. “This was a deliberate and pre-planned move to create chaos because we have evidence. But I want to warn those who incite violence that they will reap what they sow,” Tomwin said.
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