World

the opponent Bobi Wine, youth icon and target of the regime

In 2010, Yoweri Museveni released a song called “U want another rap! “, quickly became a hit. The Ugandan president was running for a new term. Like this January 14, date of the general elections (presidential and legislative). This time, at 76, he faces a real rapper, reggaeman and actor very popular in his country: Robert Kyagulanyi alias “Bobi Wine”, soon 39 years old, elected deputy in 2017.

“My generation suffered the failures of this old dictatorial and corrupt regime which reduced us to poverty, deprived us of a good education and robbed us of our youth”, he said of Kampala in a telephone interview with the World.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also In Uganda, sixth term in sight for President Yoweri Museveni

He was 3 years old and lived in one of the slums of the capital when Yoweri Museveni, then Marxist and Pan-Africanist rebel, seized power by arms in January 1986. Like nearly 80% of the population aged under 30, the one of the youngest on the African continent, Bobi Wine has known only one leader, a hero of liberation who, over the decades, has become a repressive autocrat.

Incarcerated, tortured and threatened with death

Yoweri Museveni considers him today as a “Traitor”, a “Foreign agent” supported by Western and African personalities, like the Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka, Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1986. Nicknamed “The president of the ghetto”, the leader of the opposition, the mouthpiece of a part of the disillusioned Ugandan youth, has become a target to be neutralized for the politico-military regime.

“I live in fear and I have no choice but to get used to it, explains Bobi Wine, whose house, he says, was stormed by soldiers who arrested all his security agents on Tuesday, January 12. I am in the service of the Ugandans and I am ready to sacrifice myself for them. I consider my role to be to raise their voice for change, for democracy, and to encourage them to continue non-violent protest. “

After his arrest, candidate Robert Kyagulanyi protests from inside a police van in Luuka district, eastern Uganda, November 18, 2020.

Bobi Wine, whose political movement is called People Power, has become an icon of urban youth, but not only. Its popularity spread to certain rural areas, traditionally acquired in Museveni. The artist campaigned as best he could, hampered by the Electoral Commission, repressed by the security forces who arrested most of the members of his team – some detained in unknown places – and whom he accuses of having killed his driver, his bodyguard and sympathizers. He himself has been arrested, imprisoned, tortured and threatened with death several times.

You have 50.73% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

Back to top button