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Fearless Ugandan Artists in Trouble for Telling President Museveni to ‘Shut Up’

Crane Performers Charged with Insulting President Museveni

Museveni. Courtesy Photo

At the alleged behest of the elite Special Forces Command (SFC), Ugandan police reportedly arrested eight members Crane Performers, a local cultural troupe, for telling the country’s 79-year-old and long-serving president to ‘shut up’ at an event.

The eight Crane Performers members included the group’s director Gordon Kayovu, a known supporter of the president and his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party. Others included Edward Tugume, David Muvunyi, Walter Oleng, Simon Bebwa, Paul Ruduli, and Tonny Okello, according to reports.

The Crane Performers troupe had been hired to perform at the 50th marriage anniversary of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and Jacqueline Mbabazi at the Kampala Serena Hotel in Kampala on April 06, 2024.

The group members got in trouble for reportedly telling President Museveni, the chief guest, to shut up. The president delivered his remarks close to midnight.

Some of the Crane Performers troupe members are said to have insulted Museveni in Runyankore-Rukiga, the president’s mother language in which he has even co-authored a dictionary. The members are said to have shouted ‘Rutabandama, waaturutsya. Ruga aha muzindaaro’ (You who does not want to sit down, we are tired of you. Leave the microphone).

The statement quickly angered SFC operatives, charged with the security of President Museveni and members of the first family. SFC officers then reportedly caused the arrest of Crane Performers, making them spend Saturday night at the Kampala Central Police Station (CPS).

The following day, police preferred charges of insulting the president against the eight members pf the Crane Performers troupe, opening case file number CRB 614/2024 for the matter. The suspects recorded statements as SFC officers reportedly watched with keen interest.

Crane Performers are not the first Ugandans to be in trouble for either insulting or disturbing the peace of President Museveni. Read about others who have face similar charges Here.

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