Ugandans charged for presidential protest pop song

Yoweri Museveni (File: AFP)
Yoweri Museveni (File: AFP)

Kampala - Two Ugandan musicians were released on bail on Wednesday after being charged with disturbing the peace of veteran President Yoweri Museveni for a song suggesting he should retire, their lawyer said.

Singer David Mugema and music producer John Muwanguzi were accused of having composed and disseminated via the internet a tune titled "Wumula", meaning "retire", their lawyer Abdallah Kiwanuka told AFP.

Prosecutors said the song "attacked and disturbed the peace" of Museveni, Kiwanuka said.

A bill to remove presidential age limits was introduced in parliament in September, seen as paving the way for 73-year-old Museveni - who has been in power since 1986 - to run for a sixth term in office in 2021.

The current constitution blocks candidates over 75.

Although the song does not mention Museveni by name, the music video mixes pictures of the president alongside deposed leaders including Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.

"You must retire now," the song lyrics said. "Those who refused to go peacefully, where are they?"

The music video shows police breaking up protests.

"The doctors are striking over poor pay, the government says there is no money," the lyrics said. "But government never fails to get money to buy teargas."

The two musicians were released after each paying a cash bail of $550 and a bond of $2 750.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 4098 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
46% - 3786 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 405 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.08
-0.9%
GBP/ZAR
19.70
-0.2%
EUR/ZAR
17.12
-0.2%
AUD/ZAR
11.04
-0.2%
JPY/ZAR
0.13
-0.6%
Gold
1,831.55
+0.9%
Silver
27.44
+0.5%
Palladium
2,930.47
-0.7%
Platinum
1,255.21
-0.0%
Brent Crude
68.09
-1.3%
Top 40
62,573
+1.4%
All Share
68,520
+1.4%
Resource 10
71,474
+2.1%
Industrial 25
86,856
+0.9%
Financial 15
12,711
+1.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo