Uganda’s Bobi Wine Recounts Turbulent Campaign Trail
Friday, December 25, 2020
Uganda's opposition presidential candidate Bobi Wine.
File | Nation Media Group
By Daily Monitor
Uganda’s National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, is spending Christmas at the home of his wife’s parents in Ntungamo.
The events that preceded the big day for the musician-turned-politician have been characterised with tear gas and bullets as he traversed the country in his first attempt to win the presidency.
Just at the onset of the campaigns, when Wine left Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb, on November 9, the security agencies deployment at his offices and the events that followed suggested he had entered the murky waters of violence on the campaign trail.
His campaigns started in the northern part of the country and for the first two days, his supporters at different campaign rallies were teargassed and violently dispersed by police and the army under the guise of enforcing Covid-19 regulations.
As Wine advanced his campaigns into West Nile, the violence intensified with some of his supporters getting injured by teargas canisters.
The biggest part of the campaign commotion happened on November 19 in Luuka District, where Bobi Wine was arrested and bundled onto a police van and transferred to Nalufenya prison in Jinja District.
He was detained for two days and his incarceration triggered protests in Kampala and other towns, leaving 58 dead, mainly killed by security forces. He was produced in a magistrates court in Iganga District and charged and was later bailed out.
“This was my most trying time but it also tested the system because they felt the voice of the people. It is very bad that they killed many people who were demonstrating, which is their right, but that was a time I cannot forget,” Wine told Daily Monitor in an interview this week.
The opposition politician spent two nights on the roadside after police blocked him from accessing any accommodation facility.
On December 12, Wine spent 12 hours under police detention as he was blocked from either proceeding through Lira town or going back to use an alternative route to Amolatar District for his rally.
The same events had earlier happened on November 27, when Wine spent his Thursday night at a petrol station in Migyera town in Nakasongola District on the Kampala-Gulu highway after security forces denied him access to a hotel in Hoima City. He was also thrown out of a radio station three minutes after being on air.
Supporters run over
He says 27 of his supporters have been killed by security agents and many others injured in road accidents caused by police who knocked them down with their patrol cars.
During his campaigns in Nakifuma, Kayunga District, police ran over three of his supporters who later died of injuries at Kawolo Hospital.
Days later, Wine’s right hand man, Daniel Oyerwoth, aka Dan Magic, was hit and injured by a teargas canister in the same district. He lost some of his teeth.
In a rare turn of events in Jinja District, Wine’s car was shot at by police and soldiers, puncturing two of his front tyres. Musician Ali Bukeni, alias Nubian Lee, said he narrowly survived a bullet that shattered the windscreen of the car.
“We are running a war, not a campaign. We just hope that they become realistic and change some of their ways because the world is watching them. They will face the consequences of all their actions,” Bukeni said.