Uganda drops charges against presidential protest singer

By Time of article published Apr 13, 2018

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Uganda on Friday dropped charges against a singer and his producer who had been charged with disturbing the peace of veteran President Yoweri Museveni for a song allegedly suggesting he should retire.

Singer David Mugema and music producer John Muwanguzi had been charged over a song named "Mzei Wumula", meaning "Old man take a break."

Prosecutors had said the song "attacked and disturbed the peace" of Museveni, who has been in power for more than three decades.

"The state has withdrawn charges against David Mugema, the musician and his producer, Jonah Muwanguzi of disturbing the peace of the president and offensive communication," judiciary communications official, Solomon Muyita told AFP Friday.

"The two are now free from any charges", he added.

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.


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