Ugandan security forces escorted Bobby Wayne from the airport to his home and prevented his supporters from receiving him. The legislator arrived from the United States, where he received medical treatment.
His American lawyer, Robert Amsterdam, initially announced on Twitter that the singer, who had become a popular voice against the veteran Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, one of the oldest leaders in Africa, had been “unlawfully arrested by military officers.”
However, the Chief of National Police, Okoth Ochola, said that they took him to his home, but did not arrest him.
In a subsequent tweet, Amsterdam explained, “The important thing is that Bobby is at home. His illegal detention was based on fear of people’s authority.”
Bobby Wayne, whose real name is Kyagolani Sentamu, has sought treatment in the United States for injuries he allegedly sustained during torture at the hands of members of the Presidential Guard, which the Ugandan government denies.
The opposition brigade was accused of treason after opposition supporters pelted Museveni’s convoy with rocks last month. Wayne and opposition leaders deny the accusations.
Ugandan police escorted the 36-year-old pop star to his residence on the outskirts of the capital, Kampala, where hundreds of his supporters cheered and cheered as he got into a car and raised his fists.
Before his return, security forces set up roadblocks near the airport and other places around the capital, amid tight security measures. Lawyer Osman Basalerowa said that the police had arrested the singer’s brother and at least two other people who were heading to the airport without explanation.
Pictures on Twitter showed Wayne addressing his followers from the top of a car outside his home. Another photo showed the famous star at home with her young children.
Wine “closed in the house until further notice.”
Former opposition leader Kizza Besigye, who has been arrested multiple times over the years, said on Twitter that Wayne is likely “now locking in his home until further notice”.
Wine’s next appearance is scheduled for October 1st.
The politician says he is fighting for freedom from persecution and wants Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, to step down. Museveni, in turn, accused opposition figures of trying to lure Ugandan youth into the riots.
It has a large following among the urban poor and the unemployed. His arrest last month sparked riots by protesters demanding his release, and security forces violently quelled protests in the capital.
Dozens of world musicians have condemned the singer’s treatment, and the European Union Parliament and some US senators have urged Ugandan authorities to respect basic human rights.
Museveni, a major US ally on regional security, took power by force and has since been elected five times. Although he has campaigned on his record of establishing peace and stability, some fear that these achievements erode the longer he stays in power.