Running for the presidency can be a dangerous business in Uganda amidst the fact that the incumbent president, Yoweri Museveni, has been in government for 35 years.
Bobi Wine, who is now the leading opposition in the country’s upcoming presidential election, said that he has been object of target for the incumbent and he has been targeted with bullets, tear gas and “miraculously” survived several attacks in the run-up to the election.
He added: “It’s not out of fashion to put on a bullet-proof jacket and a ballistic helmet,” he said. “It was an effort to secure my life some more. That is after I survived gun attacks more than once, more than twice, I was targeted. My car was riddled with bullets, flattening old tyres. And at one occasion, the military shoot into the windscreen of my car.
“Miraculously, I’m still alive and nobody was shot dead in my car. However, many of my close allies have been shot dead.”
Bobi Wine started his music career in the early of year 2000 with lyrics that talked about urban poverty and political oppression, and backed by good beats.
The 38-year-old rose from the slums of the country to become a popular musician, and now harnessing on his popularity to contest in the upcoming election.
He has made a promise of equality to fellow Ugandans, “a Uganda where we are respected and applauded on an international platform, not known for poverty, disease, corruption, and for dictatorship – that’s the Uganda we envision as a generation”.
Wine claimed that the election has been stolen and rigged for not being allow to campaign, he said: “the election is being stolen and rigged,
“By the mere fact that I was arrested on the day of nomination, that I’ve been blocked from campaigns, that my posters are not allowed to be there, that I’m not allowed to have any billboards, that I’m blocked from radio and TV stations, that I’m a presidential candidate who’s not allowed to drive on main roads or even to address people in towns – that’s a rig.”
Wine is banking on the population of young people in the country, as the country is one of the countries with youngest population in the world,
According to Sky News, Wine has suffered multiple arrests from the government who has also deployed the military to prevent any opposition attempts to create civil unrest that could cause regime change.
With doggedness, Wine has said that he will continue despite saying his life is at risk. “I live every day as if it’s the last day. My life is threatened, the life of my wife is threatened, my close allies and everybody that associates with me.
“But we keep going knowing that our lives do not end with us. So many people have already paid the ultimate price, and my life is not any much more valuable than the lives of the people of Uganda.”
He called on Ugandans to vote and change the country forever, as the election comes up on Thursday.
“This is our only opportunity,” he said. “We are non-violent. So we are using this election as a protest to speak – and speak loudly.”