KAMPALA – A bodyguard for Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine was killed and two journalists injured on Sunday amid violent confrontations between security forces and followers of the singer and lawmaker who is challenging the country’s long-time leader.
A tearful Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, said his bodyguard had died of his injuries after allegedly being run over by a truck belonging to the military police. The victim, Francis Senteza, was attacked while helping to transport a journalist injured in an earlier confrontation between police and a group of Wine's supporters, he said.
Wine was campaigning Sunday in parts of central Uganda where he has considerable support. As his convoy tried to proceed from one rally to the next, police fired tear gas into the crowd, injuring at least two journalists.
Cameraman Ashraf Kasirye, a member of a TV crew that follows Wine wherever he goes, suffered a serious head injury.
“We are hoping against hope that he will live,” Wine said of Kasirye on Twitter.
Another journalist, Ali Mivule of local broadcaster NTV, was injured after a tear gas canister hit his leg, according to his employer. His condition was said to be stable.
Police said in a statement that while trying to quell confrontations with Wine's supporters, “journalists were regrettably caught up during the process of dispersing the violent group.” Kasirye is in critical condition after being apparently hit by a tear gas canister, it said.
The Ugandan army spokesperson, Brig. Flavia Byekwaso, disputed Wine’s version of events, saying the bodyguard fell while trying to jump into a speeding car.