Uganda’s Bobi Wine says he plans to challenge President Yoweri Museveni for the presidency in 2021, but he expects ongoing threats as the government continues to shut down opposition politicians.
Wine, a popular musician elected to parliament in 2017 whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, made his case in an interview with the Associated Press published on Monday.
Museveni, however, has no intentions of stepping aside following the backing of his National Resistance Movement Party earlier this year, and a successful move in 2017 to change the country’s constitution to remove age limits that would have prevented him from seeking another term. Museveni, who has been president since 1986, will turn 75 next month.
The political messages and youth appeal of Wine’s music draw the ire of Ugandan authorities who are constantly shutting down his concerts and events, but it’s his “People Power” movement and opposition to Museveni that causes real trouble. Wine was outspoken in rejecting the age limit removal and said he refused a bribe meant to ensure the aging Museveni could run again.
Last year, Wine was seriously injured when political violence broke out in Arua as both he and Museveni appeared for separate political rallies. Wine’s driver, Yasin Kawuma, was shot and killed during the violence but Wine has long maintained he was the real target. He was arrested on treason charges – which could complicate his candidacy – and ultimately required medical care in the United States.
Image: Bobi Wine