President of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Museveni said that Kyadondo East legislator Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, cannot manage politics and that he better stays in the music industry.
President Museveni made the remarks while meeting Kampala City youth at State House Entebbe where he gave them Shs2.5b for self help projects.
“Bobi Wine is an artiste. This [politics] isn’t singing. If you are an artiste, go to Suzanna and Nakulabye,” President Museveni said.
Suzanna was a popular discotheque in the 1970s.
Bobi Wine, 37, recently declared that he is to contest for president in 2021.
He is likely to contest against President Museveni, 74, who has been in power since 1986 and was recently endorsed by the ruling party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) as a sole candidate in 2021 polls.
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs are currently attending a week-long retreat in Kyankwanzi and they are expected to endorse the CEC resolution before the party’s delegates conference makes a final decision on the flag bearer.
President Museveni said the youth in Kampala have been neglected by NRM leaders, like former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and Kampala Central NRM leader Capt Francis Babu, he entrusted with power to help them. He said he has now taken up the initiative himself to help the youth in the city.
The youth drawn both from NRM and Opposition asked President Museveni to stand again for president in 2021.
President Museveni and NRM’s electoral fortunes in Kampala in recent elections have not been pleasing to the party leaders mainly on account of youth unemployment in the country.
With 78 per cent of Uganda’s population comprised of youth, the 1.2 million estimated young people who are idle according to the 2018 United Nations Population Fund report, possibly see Bobi Wine as a redeemer who might devise new approaches and mechanisms for creating employment for the youth.
The President accused Bobi Wine of misleading youth into violence, which has affected the country’s image and investment. However, he did not mention Dr Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change party; his distinguished political opponent in the last four consecutive elections.
“I have no problem working with people in the ghetto…. They are easy to mobilise because they are in one place. You just need to reach out to them,” he said. Bobi Wine has also been claiming to be the president of the ghetto, but President Museveni said he and other Opposition leaders in the city are using them only to carry out riots.
“People you have trusted (with leadership) have betrayed you. When my people relaxed, you voted for (Nasser) Ssebagala, he didn’t work for you. You voted (John) Ssebaana. … Ssebaana’s work was only to sell market and parks …,” he said.
“Your artiste, when he was in West Nile, the soldiers boxed him. Oh! They really reported to the Whites. They think the Whites are gods. I called the soldiers to tell me. They said they beat him because he beat them first when they went to his room where he was hiding. I told them there is no case,” he said.
He said if you beat a person, he also has the right to fight back.
Without disclosing who the Opposition killed, the President said: “Opposition are murderers. I can’t tell my grandson to go into danger because I want power.”
However, the courts of law reserves the statutory authority of declaring people ‘murders’. Bobi Wine has been advocating for non-violent protest and leads what his supports calls a peaceful resistance under “People Power, Our Power”.
Bobi Wine’s driver, Yasin Kawuma was shot dead during the August 13, 2018 Arua Municipality by-election fracas.
The government has not issued any conclusive report on Kawuma’s death. Up to 36 people, among them four MPs and two journalists, were brutally arrested on the day of the chaos in Arua.
At least six people were shot dead and many more took bullet wounds in demonstrations in Kampala and Mityana arising from the Arua fracas.
This matter is before a magistrates court in Gulu District.
Kyadondo East MP and more than 30 others have been accused of treason for allegedly stoning Mr Museveni’s vehicle.
- By ANDREW BAGALA, Monitor