Bobi Wine dominates Uganda’s political scene
As the year 2018 wound up, Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine was announced Africanews personality of the year, voted in an online poll by Africa news, a pan African media house.
The musician cum politician scored 85% of the poll, edging Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy and Rwandan president Paul Kagame who is also chairman of the African Union.
At the beginning of 2018, Bobi Wine had spent about six months in Parliament and had therefore had less impact on the political scene.
Three months later, in March 2018, the musician MP started announcing his presence on the political scene beyond his constituency.
He camped in Jinja to campaign for FDC’s Paul Mwiru in the Jinja Municipality East Parliamentary by-election.
After Mwiru’s election, Kyagulanyi turned his focus on Bugiri Municipality, successfully campaigning for Justice Forum President Asuman Basalirwa.
The Bugiri poll brought Kyagulanyi into direct confrontation with Dr Kizza Besigye who has dominated opposition politics for two decades.
After Bugiri, Bobi Wine cast his nets wider, testing his fortunes in West Nile during the by-elections for the Arua Municipality MP.
His expedition to Arua ended into his brutal arrest with 34 others after President Yoweri Museveni accused them of stoning his convoy.
Kyagulanyi was first arraigned before a military court where he was charged with treason and being in possession of illegal firearms.
The charges were dropped after within a week of his detention in a military facility following wide spread protests within and outside the country.
He was transferred to a civil court in Gulu that bailed him and his co-accused.
Days later, Bobi Wine flew out of the country for specialised treatment in the US where he addressed a live televised press conference.
His return opened a new chapter of altercations with the police and other state security agencies that have blocked a number of his music concerts.
His first planned concert at Namboole stadium on November 1 was blocked forcing him to change venue to his One Love Beach Busaabala near Kampala on November 10.
He held arguably the biggest concert in Uganda’s music industry at which he first did the Tuliyambala Engule song that he released on New Year’s day 2019.