Band Members Detained for Alleged ‘Insulting’ Remarks Against Museveni

Band Members Detained for Alleged 'Insulting' Remarks
BBC

Band Members Detained for Alleged ‘Insulting’ Remarks Against Museveni

Eight members of a Ugandan music band have found themselves in hot water after allegedly criticizing the length of President Yoweri Museveni’s speech at a recent event. According to local media reports, the band members were arrested following complaints that their remarks constituted an insult to the president.

The incident occurred during the 50th wedding anniversary celebrations of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and his wife Jacqueline Mbabazi, where President Museveni was delivering a speech. One of the band members, speaking in the local Runyankole language, reportedly voiced frustration with the length of the president’s address, which was perceived as disrespectful.

The specific phrase uttered by the band members, “Rutabandana Waturusya Rugahamuzindaro,” roughly translates to “over speaker, we are tired, leave the microphone,” according to security sources cited by Uganda Radio Network news website.

As a result of their comments, the musicians were detained at the Kampala Central Police Station and subsequently charged with insulting the president, according to court documents obtained by local media outlets.

Both the band and the police have refrained from commenting on the matter, leaving the situation shrouded in uncertainty.

The incident underscores the sensitivity surrounding criticism of political figures in Uganda, where freedom of speech is often constrained, and dissenting voices risk facing repercussions from authorities. As the case unfolds, it raises questions about the boundaries of free expression and the protection of individuals’ rights to voice their opinions, even in contexts where political figures are involved.

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