Bobi Wine paralyses Arua

Huge crowds lined up the streets of Arua town in north western Uganda as Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine arrived to join other opposition politicians including MPs and Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu for Arua Municipality MP Kassiano Wadri’s thanksgiving fete.

It is here that Kyagulanyi and 35 others were brutally arrested by security agencies for allegedly stoning President Yoweri Museveni’s car on the last day of campaigning in the Arua Municipality by-elections in August last year.

While Kyagulanyi plus MPs Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality East), Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality), Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality) and Wadri and 31 others were charged with treason, the musician cum politician’s driver, Yasin Kawuma was shot dead.

Memories of the fateful day were still fresh in Kyagulanyi’s mind, but an ecstatic crowd that welcomed him chanting his stage name – Bobi, Bobi, interchangeably with the “People Power, Our Power” slogan seemingly energized him.

MP Kyagulanyi is welcomed by ecstatic crowds

He told the crowd that he had returned to Arua in his second life, “Because most of you know that today March 24, marks exactly six months and 14 days when I am supposed to be dead,” he said.

“There was an assassination plot against me, many of us were rounded up, beaten and incarcerated, and, some of our comrades were murdered in cold blood including my driver, Yasin Kawuma,” Kyagulanyi added, inviting the crowd to observe a minute’s silence in remembrance of the dead whom he said died in pursuit of a better Uganda.

“I thought many of you were scared to come after what happened last year, I thought that your souls had been broken but as I was coming in, I am not a Muslim, but I looked up in the sky and said, Allahu Akbar (God is Great),” Kyagulanyi said.

MP Kyagulanyi (back to camera) addresses the crowd in Arua

He said the huge crowd at Arua Hill Public School was testimony that God is part of the struggle to bring about change in the country’s leadership.

“Museveni’s days are numbered; I want to tell him that as a leader, you must be very ashamed of yourself. How can you say that you went to the bush to fight for democracy [and] 33 years later, you cannot allow democracy within your own party? What a shame!” Kyagulanyi wondered.

NRM MPs last week ratified a resolution by NRM’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) cushioning Museveni against any internal challenge for the NRM presidential flag into the 2021 elections.

The youthful MP who recently declared his presidential ambitions also responded to Museveni’s recent jab at him when he (Museveni) told a group of Kampala youths that Kyagulanyi should concentrate on his music than politics.

Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu (L) shares a light moment with MPs Kyagulanyi (C) and Asuman Basalirwa (R)

“As a person who was only four years when you came to power, I am saying to you that you are a coward, you fear competition. But I have news for you that we are going to give you the stiffest competition you have never faced,” Kyagulanyi said.

“You said that as a musician, I should stick to my music but when you were my age, you did not stick to keeping cattle; when you were my age, you were busy interacting with cows and goats but at my age, I have been interacting with my people in the ghettos where I live. When I speak, I speak for the millions of those young men and women impoverished by your bad government,” he added.

Kyagulanyi then threw a veiled jibe at FDC strong man Dr Kizza Besigye whom he asked not to be concerned about mere positions but the struggle to end Museveni’s rule.

“We must say what we mean and mean what we say. We must remember that this [struggle] is not about us,” Kyagulanyi said.

He said that some people in the opposition had proved that they can be friends when being cheered but turn into real enemies when the cheering stops