“I bring you warm greetings wherever you are and congratulate you upon coming to and end of this year, which has been a very difficult one for many Ugandans” (Bobi Wine, 31.12.2021).
As the year of 2021 closes and the political landscape continues to shift and manoeuvre it’s head. We can look back and reflect on what has happened and what to look forward too. Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has gone through fire since entering the political field in Republic of Uganda. As a firebrand politician and an inspiration for the upcoming generations. As he stands on the barricades and fights together to topple a dictator. This is sort of a politician is rare to find and that’s why I am looking into his recent text published today.
“As we all know, at the start of the year, we had a presidential election, which General Museveni chose to turn into a military operation. Ugandans were murdered, tortured, abducted and others detained. As I write this, we still have hundreds of our people in different prisons across the country including Members of Parliament Muhammad Ssegirinya and Allan Ssewanyana. Ordinary Ugandans such as Olivia Lutaaya, Kassim Mugadde, Machete Yasin, and many others are under illegal detention and there is no sign of getting a free and fair trial. Comrades Nubian Li, Eddie Mutwe, Dan Magic and many others spent more than half of this year in prison. There are several other comrades who have lost limbs in this cause, while many others have paid the ultimate price. I want to salute EVERYONE who has made any form of sacrifice in order to advance the struggle for a better country” (Bobi Wine, 31.12.2021).
Here we are seeing a reflection into how the election went down. As Bobi Wine knows and has with his team also created a report with evidence of the rigging, intimidation and use of security forces to ensure a victory for Museveni. Therefore, this isn’t just hearsay, but can be found proof of what his assessing here. We know there are many who has been injured, harmed and lost their lives as participants in the recent election. Which is tragic, but shows what sort of ends the current regime has to stay in power. Nothing is more value than stay in power, not even the lives of the ones you are supposed to govern. Just think about that for a second and then you see the brutality of the leadership of the current Kampala regime.
“Our greatest achievement so far, has been stripping him naked. The whole world now knows that Uganda is ruled by a military tyrant who has no legitimate support of the people. This is an important achievement in any struggle to remove a dictatorship. Secondly, the people of Uganda are now more awakened than ever. I pride in seeing Ugandans, young and old much more interested in the affairs of our country” (Bobi Wine, 31.12.2021).
Yes, Bobi Wine and the National Unity Platform (NUP) has revealed more of the sinister acts of Museveni. However, Bobi Wine wasn’t the first doing that… if saying so you are dismissing the former dissidents and opposition to Museveni who stood on the frontlines and fought for the same, as Bobi Wine does today. So, Besigye have also enlighten and his party have been vital in the struggle. Therefore, Bobi Wine has ushered in a new era and new people into the struggle. He has proven the acts of current day regime. Just like Besigye did… Also, on the second part… yes People Power Movement and the NUP have reached new people. Yes, he has gotten more people in tune to the message and the needs of change, as far as I remember the most people galvanized for change in recent memory was during the ‘Walk to Work’ riots. Bobi Wine has reached plenty and ensured a new generation is ready to compete. However, this sound a bit to flamboyant to reality actually.
“Away from that, I wish to remind all Ugandans that the People Power Movement/ National Unity Platform has championed the unity of the forces of change right from inception. After the 2017 by-election in Kyadondo East that brought me to Parliament, I set out to meet with all leaders of political parties, Civil Society Organisations, religious institutions, etc. When we formed the People Power Movement, we brought together Ugandans from all shades of opinion. This is because in principle we believe that all Ugandans (not just politicians) will need to come together and forge a way forward towards a #NewUganda” (Bobi Wine, 31.12.2021).
We know that the People Power was a unity based organization, as Bobi Wine did seek members from all parties and anyone who sought to end the dictatorship. That has been clear from the offset and no one can deny this fact. So, this passage is just reflecting the time he has had in politics and what PPM has become at this point.
“For about two years before the election, we sat in more than fifty meetings with leaders and comrades within different formations in the ‘opposition’. Our view was that we needed to tackle Museveni with a single, strong candidate so that we would then scatter our energies across the country in trying to guard the vote. I was even willing not to be the joint candidate, if an honest analysis had been made and it was established that we front someone else. The discussions went on and on and on. Previously before we launched the National Unity Platform, some of the Party leaders kept telling us they needed to consult their party organs. Others told us they needed to first elect their party flag bearers, who would then sit with us to agree on a joint candidate. Others claimed that they could not work with us because we were just a mere pressure group and not a registered political party” (Bobi Wine, 31.12.2021).
Here we see the political gambit and how everyone see their pockets first. This revelation is not shocking, but shows the true fashion of things. As things moves and is revealed… this just show how fellow parties are working. What is also striking is that the negotiations and talks just went on-on-on. That is what stalling and keeping the newcomer busy with useless meetings. That’s how it sounds to me… and Bobi Wine maybe felt used or even wasted time in plenty of forum’s where they only had him to gain more politically themselves…
“It later became apparent that some of the actors were in fact not interested in our unity at all, but were using those meetings and engagements to derail and delay us. In fact, one of the last and most important meetings we had to discuss the question of unity took place at the home of Owek. Joyce Ssebugwaawo, now Museveni’s minister. It was later on that we established that all along she had been in touch with the regime, although she was a Deputy President of a major opposition party.
When we formed NUP and were taken to court, some of the people who worked very hard to see NUP de-registered were not NRM operatives, but some of our perceived comrades in other opposition formations. Some went as far as approaching the Electoral Commission and Court staff to beg that they influence our de-registration” (Bobi Wine, 31.12.2021).
Here he continues and he proves that they were not in-fact using it for unity, but stalling and actually de-railing the PPM. That is a very vicious and clear attempt to distort the PPM from moving forward, as their influence could stifle and put up roadblocks to move ahead. The plans to make it harder with the court-case and de-registration was also set-off. It backfired, but also proves how far political actors and the state is willing to go. We have seen anything Bobi Wine touches becomes illegal or get into trouble. Therefore, the use of moles and others seems right, as they want to inflict damage on the new party and their chances.
“By the time we went through the election and emerged out of it, we got credible information, (which is well within the knowledge of senior leaders), that Museveni sponsored several candidates at different levels in order to cut our speed. As everyone can see, this is information that we normally get and decide to keep with ourselves, but I thought it is important to share it so that the people of Uganda understand the dynamics at play, and place the most trust in themselves. No one else will fight for them except themselves” (Bobi Wine, 31.12.2021).
We would never be shocked by paid opposition or candidates sponsored by Museveni. That seems about right at this point. There is too many who has gotten a shot and become up-starts in the recent election. To do so to destroy NUP and PPM chances seems about right. As well, as using all means to get majority and control is the end-game of the NRM anyway. Therefore, this story is all based on merits and the achievements of the state at this current time.
“Immediately after the election, every Ugandan remembers that I personally wrote to all heads of political parties, in order for us to forge unity and take the struggle forward. Yet again, some actors responded positively, others responded negatively and others did not respond at all” (Bobi Wine, 31.12.2021).
You can be sure that the paid opposition would not answer or show up to the call. We know the NUP sent out letter and asked for consultation meetings with the opposition. There is knowledge that parties like the FDC didn’t respond or care to answer. As they were to preoccupied with dismissing the NUP. While other parties did talk and greet Bobi Wine himself. So, we know this is true… and this is how life moves things forward.
He ends with:
“Of course we continue to engage with all Ugandans, be it political leaders or not, on the urgent need to deliver our nation from the crisis which we face. This coming year, we must make a conscious decision to work together as comrades because the alternative would be to resign ourselves to a terrible fate. In the coming year, each one of us should simply double his or her effort while trusting in God. Freedom is in sight. Happy New Year to you all. God bless you” (Bobi Wine, 31.12.2021).
These words are fine and dandy… it is true that the leaders and the ones in power needs to fix the crisis. The NUP and their affiliates has to find a way forward. Also, to ensure they aren’t lost into the space of offices and titles. That the party continues to be on the barricades and fights the junta. However, the NUP and Bobi Wine hasn’t rattled the cage of Museveni yet. They have given him a headache and a little heart-ache, but the end isn’t in sight. The NUP Party President and former Presidential Candidate has to further his party and his movement. He has gotten far in these years. Bobi Wine deserves credit for what he has achieved in such a short time.
However, saying… freedom is in sight. I cannot see that… as the state and the security organizations isn’t buckling up or giving way. No, the state isn’t suffering or breaking apart. The centre is holding and Bobi Wine haven’t made the President walk on burning coals to reach a point. No, he has had his convoy and continued all of his perks while being in office. The dissidents and opposition has still gotten into trouble and prolonged suffering. The President isn’t stopping and that’s clear. This is why the NUP MPs, leaders and activists are behind bars as we speak. It’s hard to see the freedom and liberty for all in the coming year.
The NRM and Museveni have kept this going since 1986. The centre has to fold, the military and the police has to buckle. That is what has to happen at this point, if not a sort of demonstrations and continuing prolonged civil disobedience of epic revolutionary proportions, which the Republic have never seen. That is what the NUP has to be able to do. If they do that and gets the public backing. Than things are possible to happen… and freedom would be in sight. As of today… it is as bleak and dark, as the recent decade. Peace.