The Ghetto President! – Political tales from Uganda

Events that has occurred before and after the July parliamentary by-election in Arua Municipality, Uganda has thrown the country into a state of uncertainty and freight.


Late MP Ibrahim Abiriga was killed by gun men on June 8 this year and his seat became vacant. During the final round of campaigns to the byelections, violence broke out. A driver of an MP, Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobie Wine) was killed as he went to support an Independent candidate Kassiano Wadri. President Yoweri Museveni was in the area campaigning for his party’s flagbearer, Nasura Tiperu.


Reports indicated that scores sustained injuries in a scuffle that had ensued between President Yoweri Museveni’s convoy, damaging one of his motorcades hind screen. Security forces raided the hotel in which MP Robert Kyagulanyi and other colleague MPs had booked and arrested all of them. The Uganda Human Rights Commission confirms MP Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobie Wine) with swollen face and required support to walk as result of torture in the hands of the Military. He is receiving medical attention whiles in custody.


MP Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobie Wine) is been charged with unlawful possession of fire arms and ammunitions by the UPDF and currently in detention at Makindye Military barracks.


There have been protest in and outside Kampala but all have been met with force by the riot police. The atmosphere seems to be calm now with the presence of heavy police and military in Kampala.


In all this confusion as Uganda puts its constitution and governance to test, one person seems to be taken the shine. MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.



Who is Bobi Wine?



Born on the 12th of February 1982 in the Gomba District, is a graduate of the Makerere University and the Law Development Centre in Kampala Uganda.


In April 2017, he contested a by-election for the Kyaddondo East Constituency which he won by a wide margin beating seasoned candidates from President Museveni’s party (NRM) and other opposition parties.


But before politics, he was an Entertainer (musician and actor), Entrepreneur and a philanthropist. His lyrics often advocated for ghetto residents in Uganda and supported several practical projects to improve conditions of the poor. He is also starring in local movies commonly known as “Binayuganda”. This has earned him a soft spot in the hearts of local Ugandans nicknaming him The Ghetto President.


 Bobi Wine married with four children is widely perceived by most Ugandan youth as the next President of Uganda. With President Museveni’s ambition to contest the next general elections, many see his arrest and trial by the military as political prosecution. Would he be under duress to seek dialogue or stick to his struggle to unseat President Museveni?


After 32 years in power, it seems President Museveni is losing his popularity among Ugandans especially the youth and the emergence of The Ghetto President in politics is seen as a threat. There are still high levels of unemployment especially among the youth, poverty, poor public health care facilities and corruption.


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