The arrest of comedians Bizonto by the police has attracted widespread condemnation from different corners of Uganda’s public.
Politicians are among the foremost to condemn the artists.
Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi who is also a professional musician, says the arrest of five members of the group is a cowardly act by the government of president Yoweri Museveni.
Bizonto were arrested by the joint security task team on Friday over promotion of sectarian tendencies.
According to Charles Twiine, the Public Relations Officer of the Police Criminal Investigations Department, the four were arrested because of one of their recent comic videos noting that the material was made with the intention of inciting sectarianism.
“The message in the comedy seemed to be criminal in nature because it does carry element of promoting sectarianism which is an offence provided for under different causes,” he said.
Lawyer Jude Byamukama, of Kampala Associated Advocates also dismissed the arrests as cowardly saying: “Freedom of expression has limits but robust criticism based on facts even if dressed as satire can never be among such limits. The market place of ideas must have room for such skits.”
The suspects were identified by their real names as the follow, Ssabakaki Simon Peter alia (Akozonto akato),Ssewanja Julius alia (Ssabazonto),Mbabali Mercelialias (Giant zonto) Gold Kimatono alia
In his message ,Bobi Wine noted that dictator is in panic because artists are causing him sleepless nights.
“The attack on the art industry clearly shows how scared they are. The artists have realized the power of their voices and are using them positively,”he said.
Elsewhere, singer Gerald Kiweewa was also arrested yesterday for alleged releasing a slandourous song against former Minister Aidah Nantaba.
“Our brothers Gerald Kiweewa and the #BizontoComedyGroup are now under illegal detention because the regime thinks intimidation will silence us.
So scared the regime is of artists that they have yet again brought more stringent regulations which are clearly intended to muzzle those of us who use art to propagate the truth,”Bobi Wine added.
Kyagulanyi rallied all artists to rise up and demand for the release of the comedy troupe.
“The regime thinks they can intimidate us by arresting some of us, but this is the time to realize that we are and have always been on our own. I guarantee you, when artists come together as one, there is nothing they cannot achieve,”he said.
He asked for the unconditional release of the artists.
“We are not a generation that can be silenced. When people speak about social injustice you do not silence them- you address the problem! And this is the point these colleague artistes are making,” he said.