Redeem yourself before it's too late, Bobi Wine tells Museveni

Monday September 24 2018

Ugandan MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine

Ugandan MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine addresses journalists at his home in Magere, Wakiso District on September 24, 2018. PHOTO | ABUBAKER LUBOWA | NMG 

By JONATHAN KAMOGA
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Pop star-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi has called on all Ugandans to challenge and condemn torture and extrajudicial killings in the country.

The Kyadondo East MP known as Bobi Wine was addressing journalists days after returning to the country at his home in Magere, Wakiso in the outskirts of the capital Kampala.

Mr Kyagulanyi had been in the US for nearly three weeks for specialised medical care for injuries he suffered after alleged torture at the hands of police and the army.

He said Ugandans are demanding for freedom regardless of political affiliations.

"We shall either work together or remain enslaved together in our own country,” he said.

The MP, who won a seat in parliament by a landslide in a June by-election last year as an independent candidate, says his views do not reflect that of any political party but that of all Ugandans struggling for freedom.

The 36-year-old beat candidates from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).

He is very popular especially among young Ugandans who make up a huge percentage of the population and whom he has rallied to embrace "people power".

"People Power is every Ugandan who is interested in a better country... People Power is in all of us," he said.

"People Power is not Bobi Wine. It is not about me or anyone else. People Power is not a political organisation- at least not now. People Power is an idea! It is the idea that all power belongs to the people as guaranteed by Article 1 of our Constitution.

"We are raising the consciousness of the people who have been stepped on for such a long time, and turned into slaves in their own country," he said.

Tyrant

Mr Kyagulanyi accused President Yoweri Museveni of tacit approval of extrajudicial killings and torture.

"How do you feel when you do this to your people?... patting troops on the back who have murdered Ugandans and tortured me and others to near death," he said.

"Would I be wrong to say that these violations are sanctioned by you?" he posed.

He said the president who has been lately referring to Ugandans as "bazukulu", grandchildren, should "love, protect and cherish" them and not "hunting them down for voicing a contrary opinion."

"You have become a tyrant and turned us into fugitives in our own country."

Mr Kyagulanyi is facing treason charges alongside 32 other politicians and supporters for the alleged stoning of President Museveni's convoy during a by-election campaign in northwestern Uganda in August. They all deny the charges.

"Be a statesman. Concern yourself not with the next election but with the next generation which is demanding for freedom. I hope you can redeem yourself before it is too late," Bobi Wine said.

Mr Kyagulanyi also addressed the security forces saying: "Do not be forces of fear and terror. Be forces of friendship. Be Ugandan because that is what you swore. We are not fighting you but fighting for you. Do not see us as your enemies but as your brothers because when this country is liberated, you too shall enjoy the freedom.”