As Museveni heightens mobilization for 2021
Former Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) president and four-time presidential contender Dr Kizza Besigye has issued a new warming to Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine to “go slow on Museveni.”
While addressing a group of journalists at his Katonga Road office on Wednesday this week, Besigye extoled the courage and confidence of Bobi Wine in standing up to the regime of President Yoweri Museveni, however, he cautioned him (Bobi) on “being overly ambitious”.
“Hon. Kyagulanyi is a courageous fighter, for all I know is that he is fearless when it comes to standing up for the voiceless majority. He is doing a lot of work in disorganizing the regime, and they [NRM] seem to be in fear of this young man. However, Bobi Wine should tread carefully when fighting the Junta, for all I know is that the Junta won’t look the other side while somebody in the name of Bobi Wine rallies mass support to dislodge it from power. The other day they tried to kill him in Arua,” elaborated Besigye.
This latest warning by Besigye to Bobi Wine is viewed as a veiled attempt by the former to send a subtle message to the People Power leader not to overstep his bounds.
According to analysts, the emergence of Bobi Wine to the national and international political scene is steadily eclipsing Besigye’s influence, and, arguably, Bobi Wine has taken over the epithet of “Uganda’s Opposition icon” in the international media. In his recent appearance on CNN news channel, Bobi hinted on the possibility of standing for president in the coming 2021 general elections, where he would be taking on incumbent Yoweri Museveni.
“Besigye is scared by the Bobi Wine syndrome, he seems to be panicking since Bobi now has come to overshadow him. Bobi Wine is diminishing the influence of Besigye, and we could be seeing the political demise of Besiye,” says the Uganda Media Centre boss Ofwono Opondo.
“When Besigye comes out to warn Bobi to go slow, it doesn’t mean that he thinks well of this young man Bobi, actually Besigye is only telling Bobi that ‘don’t interfere with my political territory’.”
As the 2021 general elections draw closer, the daggers are out with the incumbent Yoweri Museveni showing all signs of standing for another term, having been unanimously endorsed by his ruling party’s top decision-making organ at a recent retreat at Chobe Safari Lodge in Northern Uganda.
Besigye, on the other hand, will most likely contest for the top job, though he faces divided opinion from the Opposition as to whether he should appear on the ballot, again, having attempted previously five times and lost.
There is a popular view that Besigye can’t decisively dislodge Gen Museveni from power, following the failure of previous attempts, and as such the majority of Uganda’s population, who are the youth, would prefer someone new and pragmatic to challenge the status quo. Bobi Wine seems to fit this billing.
But there is another school of thought which hold that Bobi isn’t ready for the top job, and that the musician-cum-politician first needs to garner the requisite experience. Among the people who hold this view is Museveni’s senior presidential advisor on media and public relations John Nagenda. While appearing on a local TV show recently, Nagenda said that Bobi has potential of becoming president, but he needs experience of at least ten years.
Bobi has no structures
Much as Bobi Wine is moving around pushing for his presidential bid, some people would wonder how he would garner votes without solid structures to galvanise popular support. The People Power framework through which he seems to operate is not a registered political party or pressure group, but a loose movement whose followers aren’t even registered voters.
According to political observers, Bobi Wine needs to build structures at all levels from the top to the grassroots through which he could mobilise popular support. The ruling NRM has built elaborate structures in the last three decades on which it would rely to win power.