The onset of His Excellency Bobi Wine on the political scene has exposed the cowardice of Yoweri Museveni and his ruling NRM party. It has also demystified the fallacy of “democracy” and “political freedom” in Uganda.
All it took was the emergence of a real opposition politician outside the circle of the Class of 1986 and its sympathisers.
In Bobi Wine, Museveni has found his first real challenge since he started his 33 years long, daunting and hard grip on Uganda. And the Bobi Wine effect is easy to understand; it is not something Museveni could have predicted or expected. In fact, he does not understand the premise upon which a common petty ghetto child could have skyrocketed to so much popularity both at home and abroad so much so as to be considered a possible replacement to the ageing dictator.
In there lies the dilemma that Museveni faces. It is this same dilemma that has pushed the supposedly 75-year-old man who looks definitely older than that to turn to “youth” antics in order to endear the hearts of the majority youth population of Uganda.
More than ever before, I think Museveni is scared because Bobi Wine reminds him of his youthful energy and resilience which spurred him to political limelight in 1986.
In the privacy of State House and comforted by a warm cup of Bushera, Museveni is said to watch with admiration and confusion various speeches and gatherings of Bobi Wine. The old man sees his younger self in the ghetto star Bobi Wine. And sources revealed that he is somewhat frustrated that his flock, let alone his family was not able to groom such an inspirational young person.
In such cowardice, therefore, Museveni has resorted to stifling even the basic freedoms of Bobi Wine in order to keep him away from the people for as long as possible. Museveni knows that just like he as granted audience in his younger years, Bobi Wine too can be able to endear himself to the masses and be able to cause a political upset for him.
In as much as Museveni’s current strategies would have worked back in the ’80s, they cannot do so in this social media and digital age. This leaves Museveni as an 80’s youth trying to be trendy in the 21st century. He simply does not get it!
To put it in perspective, imagine that the goal of Bobi Wine’s Osobola Concert was to popularize his message and reveal the highhandedness of the regime. Even without lifting a finger, the panicky NRM regime that is now in self-destruct mode has been able to do all the work for Bobi Wine.
With their lame excuse that they do not have security to provide for the concert whilst deploying heavily to block it, the NRM and its handlers have revealed their lack of common sense. In fact, the only person they could probably hope to buy into that bogus excuse is themselves.
Secondly, the blockage of the concert has made it probably the hottest trending topic on the internet today reaching not just Ugandans but a global audience. Therefore however you look at it, Bobi Wine walks away as a victor.
In fact, this morning Bobi Wine posted that this is the 186th concert of his that has been blocked by government and security forces. This even makes economic sense for Bobi Wine should he choose to sue the state for breach of his economic freedoms. He is a candidate for large sums of money in damages from the state. In fact, Museveni has already set a precedent for this by reimbursing huge sums of money to concert organizers who claimed they had incurred loses when Bobi Wine was stopped from performing.
Now, do you have any better example of cowardice than what the NRM has shown us so far?