Uganda: The Regime Wants Me Dead, Says Bobi Wine as He Prepares for 2021 Polls

Robert Kyagulanyi addresses journalists at his home in Magere, Wakiso District.
17 July 2019

Johannesburg — The Ugandan musician and opposition lawmaker, Robert Kyagulanyi, known as Bobi Wine, has said that he will challenge longtime President Yoweri Museveni in the 2021 elections, reports AP. 

The 37-year-old leader says he will challenge Museveni "on behalf of the people" who want to see his exit. Museveni, who has held power since 1986, is seeking a 6th term.

But Wine is concerned about his safety after surviving what he believes was an assassination attempt in August 2018 during which his driver was shot dead. The MP was arrested during the chaos that rocked a by-election campaign in Arua town. Three other lawmakers and dozens of supporters critical of Museveni were also detained on that day.

"I live every day as it comes, not being sure of the next day, I am not blind to the fact that the regime wants me dead as soon as possible," he said.

In August 2018 shortly after his driver was killed he took to social media where he posted a picture of his driver covered in blood with a caption "Police has shot my driver dead thinking they've shot at me. My hotel is now cordoned off by police and Special Forces Command (SFC)."

Wine faces treason charges for his alleged role in the incident involving the president's convoy that was attacked with stones. He is also charged with disobeying Sections 5 and 10 of the Public Order Management Act 2013 by holding a public meeting on July 11, 2018, at City Square in Kampala District without giving notice to an authorised officer. He allegedly also held a meeting with his fans to protest against the introduction of the new social media tax of U.S.$0.054 daily, as well as mobile money tax.

If found guilty of these offences, the opposition politician will not be eligible to run for president.

In March 2017 the Constitutional Court passed the Age Limit Bill, scrapping the age limit for the president, allowing Museveni to run in 2021. The 75-year-old reportedly now wants a 7-year presidential term, instead of the existing 5 years.

Wine is now planning to work with Museveni's long-standing rival and former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change. 

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