“Who is this common person? By the ‘common person,’ I mean the men and women right here in Kyadondo East who work so hard and yet struggle to make ends meet; the people who pay huge taxes and yet get so little in return; the people who love their country so much yet they have given up on it, because their leaders are not inspiring enough… Leaders have become misleaders and mentors have become tormentors!” – Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine – ‘My Nomination Speech’ (04.06.2017).
As the By-Election in Kyadondo East is hardening, the Democratic Party has already shuffled their candidate. As the three main candidates in the race is now as the National Resistance Movement candidate William Sitenda Sebalu who are endorsed by the NRM leadership in the race, the Forum for Democratic Change Dr. Apollo Katinti and independent candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine. It was in April 2017; the Courts of Appeal nullified and booted Dr. Katinti out of Parliament. This was after a petition of the runner-up in the February 18th 2016 General Election, which the NRM MP candidate Sebalu lost. Therefore, the current state of affairs and a new candidate who stirs up the waters in the Kyadondo East Constituency.
With this in mind, there been speculations as to the affiliation of Bobi Wine, as the FDC has their own candidate who has gone through the party nomination and gotten his candidacy there. Bobi Wine went solo to the Bad DP house Betty Nambooze and pledge for support. Later in the same week, he passed by his friend Dr. Kizza Besigye. Which is reason for the distance and support from the same man.
Dr. Kizza Besigye have long had the support of Bobi Wine, he even passed through the gates during his incarceration and house arrest after the General Election in 2016. This moment that still is fresh in mind and are being shared on social-media. Still, the pure support and recognition of the struggle has not been there. Bobi Wine has seen fellow musicians and even comrades taken to prison as the ballot boxes was open in February 2016. That will not be forgot. So the relationship between the People’s President and Ghetto President is well known.
What makes this election special is that it is at a seat that the FDC won and the NRM petition won over. Therefore, it is struggle to reignite and get it back. Even if a fellow cadre and a friend of Besigye is running. The FDC still, want to regain their slot in the 10th Parliament. This is not a slap in the face of disrespect to Bobi Wine. Bobi Wine who has followed politics from the sidelines and discussed it as an artist should understand that.
That NRM can gain the uncertain and the undivided ones are sure, as the internal squabble in opposition. Something that is mirage created between Bobi Wine and Besigye, which isn’t really there, as Besigye himself has said – no matter if the FDC candidate or the Independent Bobi Wine wins, they are in business.
That Bobi Wine wished he had is direct attention and his direct support is understandable. Who would like to have the strongest voice of reason and of devoted fighter for justice at their rallies! However, at this point, the mere point is that Besigye is bound by his party and his own creation, which is the FDC and its guidelines. This makes it impossible for him to not campaign for Katinti, the best for Besigye was if Katinti stepped down. Nevertheless, Katinti already was the flag-bearer and secondly he has already won the seat once.
By all means, it would be strange if Apollo didn’t want his seat back. That would be shocking and disarray, as the FDC flagbearer who campaign in 2015 and 2016, suddenly did not care. Even if a Besigye supporter and trusted ally went out left and suddenly joined politics. Like Bobi Wine has done.
Bobi Wine has discussed politics and been a starch support of Besigye, as he has spoken tireless against the NRM. That is an understatement. However, for Kyadondo East, the battle is not between Besigye and Museveni. Even though in all Ugandan elections the mere big-men are involved and pulling strings. Therefore, Bobi Wine would have enjoyed and felt appreciated if Besigye stood by his side. Instead, he is at the Katinti rallies and campaigns for him. But Katinti is the FDC flag-bearer so Ssentamu or Wine should understand that sentiment. If he does not than he is ready to be a politician and neither a real friend of Besigye.
Ssentamu or Wine if he would have Besigye in his rallies, he should have gone through the nomination procedure of the FDC. Where he had been one of the nomination and gotten pledges by the FDC members in Kyadondo East. Certainly, than it would have been justified that Besigye would have campaigned behind him. Alas, he is independent and running on his own accord. Therefore, Besigye cannot and should not. Especially, when Katinti has already won the constituency once.
That Bobi Wine wanted the grand support, get a head honcho behind him and have the affiliation is clear. If he would not want that, than he would not be serious about running. Therefore, that is just making sense of it all. As the roads to ballot box continues. If someone feels it is wrong of Besigye to stand behind Katinti, than you have misunderstood party policy and procedure. Not because Bobi Wine is a bad candidate for Besigye and his cadres. However, because he did not run it through the FDC party and therefore excluded himself.
Time will tell, if Bobi Wine is splitting the opposition vote, if the FDC can regain and reignite the voters, or if the NRM swoop it all through their ordinary rigging schemes. Since they usually do that. Unless this time they will watch and see if the opposition self-destruct in the battle for the Kyadondo East Constituency. Peace