President Yoweri Museveni recently appeared on the British
Broadcasting Programme (BBC) Africa and accused singer-
turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi of being an ‘enemy of
The President even vowed that the Kyadondo East MP
Kyagulanyi, commonly known as Bobi Wine, would not be
allowed to stage any music concerts because the latter had
blocked foreign investments into Uganda.
The President’s statement comes after various interventions
have been employed to clearly cement government’s
determination to deal with the ‘Bobi threat’.
But Bobi Wine, who has been on the political scene for about
two years, denies the accusation and says he is being politically
persecuted because of his desire to end President Museveni’s
After speaking to various knowledgeable sources below are outlines of the ‘10-point programme’ that stands in Bobi Wine’s
ray of hope to capture state power.
- Surveillance Cameras
Sources indicated that at one moment, the state feared decaesed Hajji
Medi Kaggwa who was the former chairperson of the Uganda
Human Rights Commission. Before giving him the job, a thorough scrutiny of him was allegedly carried out. And
because the state had no security cameras on the roads, it
needed to devise means of spying on him covertly. The wholeidea was to know the people he was dealing with. As such, a
deal was allegedly coined where his immediate neighbor who
stayed across the road had to be engaged for this operation.
One of his neighbors’ house was wired with secret security
cameras and these cameras would capture whatever went on
in Kaggwa’s home and the people he hosted. When security
was fully convinced that Kaggwa, who initially wasn’t pro-NRM,
had no issues, his name was immediately forwarded for approval
by the President.
Similarly, within the People Power Movement, it is understood
that the recent installation of security cameras in the city and
neighboring districts wasn’t primarily to fight crime but to help
in political surveillance.
In fact it is alleged that the security cameras that were installed
on the Gayaza-Kasangati Road, in the surrounding areas of the
residences of the National Resistance Movement opponents,
Bobi Wine and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC’s) Dr.
Warren Kizza Besigye, are more compared to other areas where
political activism is reportedly less.
Further, it is said the emergence of Bobi Wine on the political
scene and his threats of holding processions put the NRM
government on high alert, fearing that he would surprise
security by mobilizing people to pour into the city through the
However, with the recent installation of the cameras, Bobi
Wine is reportedly under strict surveillance, making it difficult
for him to hold a procession before security intervenes. As aresult the People Power boss has now resorted to making surprise
appearances in towns as opposed to his earlier practice of
holding processions from the ‘Kasangati Axis’.
2. Ban on Red Berets
It still remains an unresolved issue: the matter is before court.
However, the government through the Uganda Peoples
Defence Forces (UPDF) has already ‘usurped’ the Red Beret
from Bobi Wine’s supporters by claiming that the gear is part of
the army uniform, and has already been put in the Uganda
Interestingly, at the time of the UPDF declaration that was first
made public by the UPDF Reserve Force Commander Major
General Otema Awany, the beret had just been launched by
Bobi Wine as the People Power Movement (PPM’s)
The outlaw of the Red Beret came shortly after the hotly
contested Hoima by-election, and the army has since warned
anyone against wearing the Berets though Bobi remains
Interestingly, it is also claimed that the decision to ban the Red
Beret came after attempts by the NRM government to cajole
the opposition Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) into claiming
the red color as theirs, failed.
But it seems the move hasn’t collapsed on its underbelly: as
part of the electoral reforms, the UPC recently presented a
proposal to include a clause that provides for party’s dominant
colors to be tagged onto every registered political party. In
effect, the ‘red’ color which People Poweruses will be gazetted as ‘UPC
property’ in case the proposal is adopted. This would,
therefore, deprive Bobi Wine’s group of claims to the red
colour that People Poweridentifies itself with.
Against that development, Bobi Wine now says that the
underlying factor behind the ban on Red Berets is a double-
barreled: to intimidate his supporters and to trump charges
He alleged that of recent, several Red Berets have been
confiscated from his supporters and that there’s a plan to
stage-manage crime scenes of crimes, a situation that might
lead to the People Power being declared a ‘terrorist organisation’ and
consequently be outlawed.
In fact Bobi Wine claimed this plot started with the nailing of
some NRM supporters with intent to accuse the of
orchestrating such criminal activity.
Various sources have it that government has never been short of tactics
to overwhelm the opposition.
“It should be recalled that during the walk-to-work protests in
2011, government banned the A4C pressure group led by
Masaka municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba. When the
MP tried to form another pressure group called 4GC, the state
got a grand opportunity to break his economic back by
threatening not to renew the operation license of his tertiary
institution that is located along Bombo Road. This is how he
finally yielded,” the source told this magazine.
Recruitment and deployment of LDUs
In the run-up to the 2021 Presidential Elections, Bobi Wine has
been running a campaign, urging Ugandans to register
massively and get National Identity Cards. As a result, members
of the opposition claim that the Local Defence Unit (LDU)
personnel that were recently recruited are now poster boys
against Bobi Wine’s clarion call.
“They (LDUs) have been storming potential areas of political
dissent, demanding for National IDs from people they suspect
to be in the opposition. When the people surrender their IDs,
the LDUs allegedly thresh them into pieces,” sources said.
3. Electoral reforms
On the face of it, the electoral reforms being touted seem
irreproachable, but many in the opposition argue there is a
political aspect involved, more so after the Independent
Electoral Commission proposed that whoever wants to stand
for President must pay nomination fees of shs100m.
But the IEC says the move is aimed at weeding out ‘mediocre
In fact, according to the IEC, in the past polls, because of the
‘affordable nomination fees’ there have been ‘unserious
presidential contestants’ like and actor Charles James
Ssenkubuge aka Siasa, who paid the mandatory Shs20 million to
get on the presidential nomination list and later withdrew after
reportedly ‘talking with candidate Museveni’, and comedian
Paddy Bitama (RIP), who tried to collect the presidential
Political pundits have maintained that other ‘less serious
contenders’ for presidency have, over the years, included
people like Maureen Walube Kyalya, city lawyer Hassan Male
Mabiriizi and Major General Benon Biraaro.
Then there is the issue of declaring one’s source of funding.
Much as there is a constitutional provision that deals with both
local and external funding, political pundits say the state is
reportedly itching to know Bobi Wine’s financial backers, a
development that will provide an opportunity for government
to close those taps.
4. Age Limit Amendment
The plot to fail the Age Limit Amendment (amending Article
102b of the 1995 Constitution) project started way back in
November 2016 when a secret project dubbed C18 (Countdown
2018) was coined by those opposed to Museveni presidential
candidacy beyond the then constitutional age limit of 75 year
cap, which would ostensibly ‘expire’ in May 2018.
The opposition, according to sources, had calculated that by
2018 Museveni would be an ‘illegitimate’ President and they
wanted him to hand over power to his VP (Edward Kiwanuka
Sekandi) who would organize elections for a new President.
However, as the opposition hatched the plan, Museveni and his
team were also planning.
In the ensuing period Igara East MP Raphael Magyezi was to
introduce a ‘private members bill seeking to amend Article
102b, and the rest, as they say, is history.
So, much as Bobi Wine is pushing for Museveni not to appear
on the ballot paper again, constitutionally, the latter can appear
as many times as his party, the NRM, chooses him as its flag
5. Testing for Drugs
Among the reforms some cabinet ministers are toying with is
the idea of subjecting every contestant for any political seat to
a drug test, with those failing test failure barred from
contesting for political office.
Many pundits say this is targeting Bobi Wine who, at a point in
his life, is reported to have taken drugs. But the singer-cum-
politician has always talked about taking drugs in passing, but
conspicuously coined a song titled Ssada Naliggala, literally
translating into ‘I quit smoking weed’.
And, as if to deride the proponents of drug users assuming
political seats, Bobi Wine’s supporters in the People Power Movement ave cited
Presidents like Barack Obama, who admitted to taking drugs as
a youth but yet turned out as one of the greatest US Presidents
in recent history.
6. Return of Anti-Gay Bill
In the run up to the 2016 polls, Museveni was targeted by gay
lobby groups that saw him as being anti-gay. They, therefore,
reportedly cajoled then Prime Minister John Patrick Amama
Mbabazi to vouch for their cause. This was after Parliament
passed the anti-gay bill and the President assented to it.
However, despite Mbabazi facing local criticism, foreign
pressure mounted on Museveni, who back tracked on the
ascent and the matter was referred to court.
The case was upheld in favour of the gays, when court ruled
that Parliament passed the bill without following necessary
procedures; it lacked quorum.
The court ruling gave Museveni some political relief and
government dropped the idea of re-tabling the bill, at least for
some time, till Ethics Minister Fr. Simon Lokodo came knocking
again in 2019.
Earlier, Kawempe South MP Latif Ssebaggala had tried to solicit
MPs’ signatures to reintroduce the bill, but was reportedly told
to ‘back off’.
However, political pundits are now claiming that Fr. Lokodo has
re-ignited the anti-gay campaign as a bargaining tool as the
country moves towards 2021.
“It is being reintroduced to scare the gays and also to win back
their supporters especially if government decides to shelve the
bill again,” a political pundit said.
7. IPOD puzzle
The Inter-party Organisation on Dialogue (IPOD), which by way
of formation disfavors Bobi Wine, is moving steadily with strong
proposals that are seen as targeting Independents.
Bobi Wine insists on contesting as an Independent, because he
thinks all parties have been compromised by the State.
“They are therefore not keen on achieving regime change since
they are also benefiting from it,” a source said, adding that:
“Bobi Wine’s calculation is to wait for parties to smear
themselves during the primary elections and the losers will just
join People Power as Independents.”
However, the parties through IPOD have sensed this and are
mooting the idea that seeks to bar Independents from forming
government even if they are the majority in Parliament.
Secondly, IPOD is standing with the ruling National Resistance
Movement (NRM), with the argument that whoever stands in
party primaries must not stand as an Independent after losing.
Also, the IPOD is mooting an idea that whoever wants to
‘defect’ from any party must seek ‘clearance’ from the party
This, in essence, will leave Bobi Wine with inexperienced
candidates as contestants for the available political seats.
8. Blocking music shows
The Government has so far achieved its objective in this
respect; Bobi Wine will no longer be able to stage any concert
in Uganda, as long as he is contesting for political power with
“Bobi Wine can no longer stage a concert anywhere in the
country. So far he has lost lots of money under this scheme. His
One Love Beach in Busaabala now looks deserted with no
serious musical activity taking place there since 2017 when he
last held a concert there,” a source said.
The sources further said that the last time Bobi Wine ‘was
allowed’ to hold the concert in Busabaala in 2017, it was meant
to gauge his support.
“When it was apparent that the support was huge and could be
turned into political capital, he was blocked. Matters were
worsened when he appeared in 2019 on the Kabaka Show at
Lubiri where crowds urged him to stand,” the source added.
Also, citing Bosmic Otim in Northern Uganda, the source said all
other artistes from upcountry and are perceived to belong to
the People Power have since been stopped from performing.
9. ‘Kamwokya eviction’
According to the source, Bobi Wine will not only lose the
income from his Busabala concerts, he will also lose a
commercial building in Kamwokya.
“He owns a commercial building and also runs his music studio
there, but is now being threatened with land eviction after
someone came out claiming ownership of the Kamwokya land
on which his building is located,” the source said.
It is, however, said that government is cautious about the
Kamwokya evictions after intelligence reportedly suggested
that Bobi Wine and his backers have earmarked the area, that
is just on the outskirts of the city, as the springboard for riots
should the land claimant continue with his advances, which the
People Power believes are being sponsored by the state.
10. Media ‘blackout’
Currently, there are various media outlets and personnel who
are battling with claims of breaching media rules and
regulations, issued by regulatory body, the Uganda
Communications Commissions (UCC) under Godfrey Mutabazi.
The UCC queries are among others linked to giving live
coverage to Bobi Wine when he held a procession to CID
Also, Bobi Wine’s songs are rarely played on media outlets and,
besides the media coverage censorship, the government
imposed the Over the Top Tax (OTT), as a means of curtailing
the activities of opposition social media activists.
“The President, having realized that social media was a big tool
for mobilization, is now making prolific posts targeting the
Bazzukulu, a generation where Bobi belongs. On the other
hand, the People Power organization is also being countered by a pro-
Museveni group called Silent Majority led by Bebe Cool (Moses
Ssali) and music promoter Balaam Barugahare,” the sources
The sources added: “The state has also since banned Bobi Wine
from making physical appearance in courts of law and that is
why the courts piloted the Video Conferencing program when
he was charged with making unlawful procession recently.”
Another political and social activist who has been tried by video
conferencing is Dr. Stella Nyanzi, a researcher with Makerere
Institute of Social Research (MISR), who was convicted and
sentenced to nine months in prison.
11. UPDF Generals ‘PR stunts’
According to sources, whereas the law prohibits Uganda
peoples Defence Forces’ (UPDF) personnel from making
political statements, some senior officers, mostly the Generals,
have of recent taken up the role of ministers.
“The Generals have taken it upon themselves to bash People
Power Movement (PPM) and Bobi Wine, accusing them of
working with negative foreign forces seeking to destabilize
Among the Generals cited by the sources are Elly Tumwine,
Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Charles Otema Awany and Peter Elwelu.
“Recently, even Gen. Elwelu stormed a church service and
asked youth to try all income-generating avenues available
including selling cow dung, which he said is lucrative,” the
“The Generals are also re-organising the Reserve Forces
countrywide in what seems to be a plan to back up the LDUs,”
the sources added.
Meanwhile, it has be reported that government has deployed a
team of cabinet ministers to go and distribute about one
million hand hoes to people in villages across the country.
“This however, has been criticized by MPs who also wanted to
be part of the distribution chain. But the MPs were sidelined
because majority of them are feared to be People Power
Movement (PPM) but are yet to come out and declare to
correct stand,” the sources further said.
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