Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine, a Ugandan musician-turned politician is a small man with a big heart. Who knows that such a young man would take on goliath knowingly the ramifications of doing so? Who’d think that this man would seriously plod where many fear to and those who tried suffered hugely? As it seems, Bobi is now shaking things up. Like the oh-my-God particle, this youthful Member of Parliament for Kyaddondo caught President Yoweri Museveni by surprise and took Uganda and the world by storm. What’s been ongoing in Uganda recently is but a tell-tale that may tell us something we couldn’t make out yet; and if we did, it wasn’t in this manner and speed. It seems. Museveni’s immunity against political dangers is slowly fizzling.
Now that Wine is becoming a very strong wine for desperate Ugandans to latch on, is it time for President Yoweri Museveni to start contemplating or musing about calling it quits? Will he? After Bobi Wine burst onto the scene from the blue, Museveni’s long-time administration’s caught off guard. The manner and speed wherein Bobi Wine claimed prominence, earlier on from the jump, shocked and left the administration shaking in its boots. Being proven to be as tough as a nail, Bobi Wine seems hell-bent to write history. His genesis will never be for nothing for Uganda and Africa in general. What we didn’t expect is the reaction of the government after facing such impromptu resistance. Since Museveni came to power over three decades ago, he’s held Uganda at ransom; and turned it into his private estate. His grip on power has always been mercurial whereby he employed various ploys to remain in power. One of the things Museveni isn’t used is seeing people demonstrate in the streets or opposing his edicts. He created a brutal but fickle regime that subjected Ugandans to fear and intimidations. Now, it seems; things have changed dramatically and quickly. Those he made to be sheep are slowly waking up from the slumber so as to threaten turning tables on him.
In the great scheme of things, when Museveni arrested and charged Bobi Wine with trumped up charges, he thought that would put the case to rest. What a blooper! Ugandans, especially youths took to the streets demanding Bobi be released. After being hurriedly court marshalled, Bobi was released to end up being rearrested and charged with treason. What treason did Bobi commit? His so-called supporters pelted rocks at the presidential motorcade in Arua where he went to campaign for his party that ended up losing to the opposition.
At worst, like his counterpart in Libya, Muamar Gadaffi, Museveni has turned Uganda into his private estate. This has guaranteed him the ownership of Uganda. Thus, Museveni doesn’t think there’s a time his textbook autocratic and corrupt rule will come to an end. I don’t know if Museveni believes even in death. After being in power with absolute power, it seems, power has corrupted Museveni absolutely. Indeed, absolute power corrupts absolutely. However, Museveni needs to understand that his overstay and other allegations his rule faces have poisoned Uganda so much that whoever comes and takes on him will be welcomed and supported. This is why Bobi Wine is seen as a breath of nova caeli in Uganda’s political milieu. This reminds me of an anonymous Zimbabwean who, during the toppling of Robert Mugabe said that even if a duck had come to Zimbabweans promising to topple Mugabe, they’d have supported it.
Now that the die is cast, chances for Museveni’s rule to start crumbling are on the agora. Faced with youths who want true not cosmetic changes, Museveni is forced to unleash his military apparatuses to intimidate them and thereby create more anger and angst. Essentially, Museveni is playing in the hands of his enemies. By arresting Bobi and other opposition MPs, Museveni was offering the ammo to his enemies. The more he’ll kill, the more he’ll embolden Ugandans to shun pseudo fear and get out opposing him. This will have domino effects on Museveni’s aging regime. What Museveni needs to know is simple. Ugandans are tired of him. He too is tired of them though he wants them to stay in power. So, too, Museveni is tired. Like Gadaffi, Museveni may be caught off guard so as to go down quickly and unexpectedly. Like Blaise Compaore in Burkinabe, Museveni’s fall may come from unexpected quarters after conquering many of his consigliore. This is obvious, especially if youths stand their ground to see to it that Museveni is packing and hit the road. Museveni needs to underscore the fact that there were as tough dictators as old boots that went under unexpectedly and quickly. Refer to how dictators such as Joseph Mobutu (the then Zaire now the DRC), Jean-Bedel Bokassa (CAR), Gadaffi (Libya), Yahya Jammeh (Gambia), Mugabe (Zimbabwe) and Idi Amin, among others.
In sum, by the look of things, there are those who think that this is the beginning of the end of yet another dictatorship. A major question we need to ask and ask ourselves is will Bobi Wine act as Tunisia’s Mohamed Bouazizi whose ripple effects consumed the whole Maghreb leaving many dictators dropping like houseflies from power after he decided to set himself on fire protesting against hardship. Will Bobi Wine become the catalyst that may change the Sub-Saharan Africa starting with Uganda? Is this the beginning of the end of Museveni? Nobody can tell right on the money. However, time will accurately tell.
Source: Citizen, Today.