This speech comes from his home in Magere, Wakiso district. Where his unfortunately pre-emptive house-arrested, which he has been since 14th January 2021 on the day of the polls for Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. He is now on his 9th Day as a prisoner in his own home and only allowed one visit with his team of lawyers. Who also brought some food and other basic necessities. Because, the captors and the ones keeping him captive in his home isn’t giving him anything.
However, still with all the hurdles, the hardships and the hostile attack on his party. The Presidential Candidate and Party President of National Unity Platform (NUP) Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine came out with a online address, which is worth looking into. As it sets a stage of his plans ahead. Let’s be frank, the 14th January 2021 elections wasn’t “contested” but rigged beyond belief in favour of the ruling regime. To think otherwise is naive and following all reports. It is definitely not a fair game.
He starts with: “I am under illegal house arrest and continue to live through this humiliation, but my spirit is strong. I am strong because am aware of the trials and tribulations that those who came before us had to endure in their fight for freedom and democracy. I am even consoled by the constant reminder that what I am going through today is nothing compared to what many of our comrades and supporters have had to go through for the past three years since we started the People Power Movement!” (Bobi Wine, 22.01.2021).
He is making a compelling case and telling his story. A story that the NRM and President Museveni don’t want out. As this undermine his minions and the Police Force itself. Which is all working on overtime telling “his not house arrested” or that his “house arrested to shield him from himself”. Both arguments is bananas and hogwash. The reason why he is house-arrested is because he is the one the President fears and the only way he can contain his popularity is by keeping him lockdown. Not because, Bobi Wine has done anything wrong, other than challenging the President, which is “treason” in the Republic.
He continues: “I must state right from the beginning that we went into this election knowing the nature of the regime we are up against but trusting the people of Uganda to assert their voices. Like many other ruthless dictators, Museveni organizes elections in order to pay lip-service to democracy and to try to buy legitimacy from the world. He was therefore determined to take the nation through the same old ritual this year. Unfortunately for him, he miscalculated this time round” (Bobi Wine, 22.01.2021).
Bobi Wine is not wrong here. Museveni has both lobbyist on his payroll and other agencies working non-stop to do his bidding. Museveni has multi-national and regional entities like IGAD and EAC doing the work for him. These are undermining the principals of the polls, free and fair election, and so fourth. That is a genuine insight and true. The plan is the same and the rigged game to favour Museveni, which many of us expected to happened and it did.
He says it straight: “Therefore fellow citizens, as I speak to you today, my heart is full of gratitude and confidence because eight days ago you went to the polls and overwhelmingly chose the National Unity Platform and myself to lead you in repairing our broken Nation, which has endured the pain of dictatorship under Gen. Yoweri Museveni for 35years. Unfortunately, Museveni yet again committed a coup against the Constitution and the people of Uganda” (Bobi Wine, 22.01.2021).
The last sentence is so striking. The whole sentiment of this paragraph shows the future of a statesmen really. Someone who dares to see the mischief and the faults of a system. Wanting to address it. While also crediting anyone who support his cause doing it. It is so poignant the “coup” wording, as a stolen election is practically doing that. Maybe not with a violent takeover, but by cooking the books, which is what Museveni was doing.
His continued assault on Museveni: “ Unfortunately, Museveni is such a poor student of history; including his own history. In a book titled Mission to Freedom written by himself, he justified his decision to go to the bush and start after a rigged election as follows: He said, and I quote; “In December 1980, Ugandans went to the polls. By late afternoon on December 11th, it was clear that UPC and Obote were headed for a resounding defeat inspite of all the rigging they had done at the earlier stages of registration of voters, nomination of candidates, and demarcation of electoral boundaries. The UPC was seized with Panic. Paul Muwanga…..took over the powers of the Electoral Commission. ….. The following day 12th December 1980, using their control of the national radio, the army, the police and other state machinery and backed by the Tanzanian government, Obote and Muwanga announced their coup. ….Once again, a minority, unpopular clique was imposed on the people of Uganda, leaving them with no option but to take up arms in defence of their democratic rights.”” (Bobi Wine, 22.01.2021).
Here Bobi Wine cleverly undress Museveni… and shows how he deliberately Museveni has copied the 1980 election. It is all done in favour of him now. Where he repeated the sins of the ones he overthrow. Which is just a tragic enterprise, but what Museveni does. Because, only power and staying power matters to him. That is why Museveni is willing to repeat the same ills of the past.
He continues: “We call upon the People of Uganda to reject this mockery and refuse to acknowledge Museveni as the winner of the January 14th polls because we defeated him. Ugandans must resist his treasonous attempt to forcefully impose himself on us as president. Resisting tyranny is not only a right- it is a DUTY for oppressed people to carry out. We encourage all of you to use all non violent and legal means and ides at your disposal to engage in this fight for complete freedom. We have always said that People Power is Our power. The stolen votes belong to the People of Uganda. The people of Uganda must rise to the occasion and free themselves and their country from that small group of gunmen who do not care about our future and that of our country Uganda” (Bobi Wine, 22.01.2021).
Here is stating defiance and resistance against the Resistance Movement, which is ironic. However, I approve the message and that is the only way they can move forward. The President and NRM needs to know and feel a boycott. The state needs to be touched and feel the public rebuke of its tactics. That they are not accepting the betrayal of their trust. That means a continued cause for a peaceful transition.
Where he continues: “Unlike Museveni who unleashed untold violence and suffering on our people in the 1980s, we choose non-violent strategies in the pursuit of freedom and democracy. We are committed to non-violence because we despise violence. That is why we are fighting against a violent tyrant. Studies have shown that non-violence is even much more effective in breaking violent dictatorships. I therefore encourage all of you citizens to take a firm stand against the Museveni regime” (Bobi Wine, 22.01.2021).
Here he shows the significant difference between him and Museveni. Something that is a nice touch, but also a brutal honesty. As he shows to be the better man and doesn’t need to grab a gun, but trust the public to be by his side. That is a thing President Museveni cannot state, as he has always turned to the guns when he needs too.
He ends with: “I must add that the regime has been actively trying to frustrate any attempt to go to court. They have intimidated our polling agents, but most crudely confiscated more than 4000 of our Declaration of Results forms, which are of crucial importance in an election petition. We have tasked the authorities to return these forms, but they are yet to respond. The leadership of the National Unity Platform is in the process of consulting stakeholders but most importantly the common people and in a few days, we shall communicate our decision to the nation. As regards my illegal house arrest, the police and military have still failed to explain their presence in my home” (Bobi Wine, 22.01.2021).
The NUP and Bobi Wine is getting into the same quarrel that previous opposition leaders and parties been in. However, the authorities and law enforcement have been much more vicious this time around. They are not holding back and been really working with impunity this election. That is why such amounts of polling agents and other associates of the NUP.
The nation and the supporters are awaiting the communication to their decision. Whatever they do. They should ensure they have collected evidence and have truth. So, they can prove not only to every citizen, but can show the international community of the open rigging. Put it all into system and prove it. As we know it, but the way they drop the knowledge matters.
I hope Bobi Wine can get freed soon. Though the state prolongs it to at least Monday when the Court petition is in order. However, they are planning to dismiss it. So, expect the state to keep him house-arrested for long. Just like they did Besigye in 2011 and 2016.
Bobi Wine spoke the truth and that is what is needed. Peace.