For Ali Bukeni, joining Bobi Wine on the campaign trail was a no-brainer — despite the dangers.
Bukeni, better known by his stage name Nubian Li, is one of Bobi Wine’s musical partners. The pair have recorded a number of songs together. When the 39-year-old singer-turned-politician Bobi Wine — real name Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert — sought to end the 35-year tenure of the Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni in January’s elections, Bukeni was by his side.
Bobi Wine’s team was regularly intimidated by the security forces. Arbitrary arrests were not uncommon. Sure enough, at one of their campaign events last December in Kalangala, an island town in central Uganda, security forces apprehended Bukeni and many other members of Wine’s entourage.
“I told them I would comply and that there was no need to use force,” Bukeni told The Continent in an interview. Bukeni said he was held in a truck alongside other campaign staffers and supporters — 127 of them in total were hauled to the police station in Kalangala. Police shot tear gas to disperse the crowd that had gathered to barricade the route to the station.