By Priscilla Karibwende Kibuuka
We can all hear the numerous contentions from Bobi Wine “President Museveni is a dictator, and he has rigged the elections, he is killing Ugandans and keeping them poor”. He is writing to the International Court and taking President Museveni to the High Court in Uganda.
Yes, we all agree President Museveni has ruled Uganda for many years, and we all know that he cannot rule Uganda forever, so let us take some time to reflect on the history of our country and around the world and learn from it. Let us not be consumed by our emotions, tribalism and other issues, and see the reality and think logically. Everything has its time, and the right person will be the next president at the right time.
There are other countries such as Zimbabwe, Libya, Iraq and Egypt that had long serving leaders and the people, some with outside influence and support fought hard to remove Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Gaddafi in Libya, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, mainly for the same reason, the leaders had stayed in power for too long. Of course, they added other accusations, which were not necessarily true. The end result was that all of these countries ended up worse off, that now the people look back and realize that things were actually better under those leaders and wish they had acted differently. They are all going through a lot of hardships right now and so far, they have not been able to achieve what they had hoped for. We all need to keep ourselves well informed of what happened in the past and what is happening now otherwise we will suffer because of ignorance.
We also need to learn from what happened in America. People ignored the fact that Donald Trump had no experience in politics or how to govern a country and they also ignored his bad reputation. They voted him in office and we have all seen what happened. Four years of total chaos. Now President Elect Joe Biden has the task of undoing all the damage that Donald Trump has left behind. We need to understand that what happened in other countries can also happen to us. So many Americans who voted for Donald Trump are still regretting. Here we are trying to vote for a similar person, someone with no experience, and a bad reputation.
75% of the population in Uganda is under 35 years of age. This means that three quarters of our people have never experienced war or instability. They have lived in peace all their lives under President Museveni’s leadership.
If they could speak to the elders in Uganda, who saw what Uganda went through, especially in the 70’s and early 80’s, they would understand why the majority of older people support President Museveni.
The main thing is that he has brought peace and stability to Uganda and this has enabled people like Bobi Wine to prosper. You cannot achieve prosperity without peace and stability in a country. Those who saw the Idi Amin regime and the quick succession of different Presidents, Obote, Lule, Binaisa and Tito Okello know how bad the situation was then, and appreciate the stability Uganda is enjoying now. During those days, musicians like Bobi Wine were not very successful so he shouldn’t take for granted the fact that he has made a lot of money through music.
If Bobi Wine was there during Idi Amin’s regime, he would understand what the word dictatorship means, and he wouldn’t be using it anyhow. During those years, there was no respect for human life, murders, wars, burglaries, poor economy; lack of essential commodities, army road blocks everywhere, and so many atrocities took place.
Many Ugandans had to flee persecution. Uganda is now taking in refugees, but 40 years ago, Ugandans were refugees in other countries. People could not speak up against Idi Amin’s regime, if anyone dared to say anything, they would be killed and their bodies would be thrown into the river.
Bobi Wine says the days of Panda Gali are back. He doesn’t know what that means, that is why he just says it haphazardly. Panda Gali was affecting almost everyone, young and old. The soldiers were picking innocent people from the street, going about their business and they would just command them to “panda gali” (Swahili – get in the car) and the majority of those people were never seen again.
Ugandans now wouldn’t be accepted as refugees in any country, because the whole world knows there is stability in Uganda. Those who travel will have noticed how the airlines to Uganda are usually full of foreigners from the USA, UK, Korea, Japan, China and many other countries. No foreigner would go to a country that is unstable or ruled by a dictator.
People forget all that President Museveni has achieved in Uganda such as how he managed to fight Kony and his army and stopped him from terrorising people in the north of Uganda. They forget how he fought hard during the AIDS pandemic and brought it under control. They forget that he took power when most of the buildings in Kampala had been reduced to rubble, by the Tanzanian Army, trying to bring Obote back. They used to throw big bombs called Saba Saba.
It is a shame that our schools are still teaching useless history such as who discovered Lake Victoria, and don’t teach much of what happened in Uganda, and how and why President Museveni came to power and more of relevant history. That is probably why our young people are unaware of our history.
We thank President Museveni for being tough and the way he has contained COVID 19 in Uganda, while Bobi Wine does not seem to be aware that COVID 19 is real.
Bobi Wine has been trying to compare himself to Nelson Mandela.He is placing himself way too high above himself, because Nelson Madela had integrity, self respect, wisdom, resilience, virtues, honesty, love for all humankind and above all he was brave and charismatic. He was on a higher level that cannot be achieved anyhow.
No one really knows what Bobi Wine is trying to liberate Ugandans from. Ugandans have liberty now, and he is trying to take it away from them by waging war and bringing back instability.
Bobi Wine says that News Reporters in Uganda are scared to report the atrocities and the killings happening in Uganda. How about international news agencies all over the world, are they also scared of President Museveni? The truth is that journalists can only report facts. They cannot just report hearsay from Bobi Wine. According to Bobi Wine, everyone who dies in Uganda must have been killed by President Museveni. The fact of the matter is murders happen in all countries. For example, there is knife crime in UK and there is gun violence in USA. Murders in any country cannot always be for political reasons.
Bobi Wine has been calling on the western countries to come to his aid. He wants them to come and catapult him into power. Most of the current generation in western countries are ashamed of the way their ancestors treated Africans, from colonisation, to slavery and wars. They don’t want to repeat that history. Ugandans need to solve their own problems and he should stop trying to involve other countries.
Bobi Wine says that America is supporting him and will help him to remove President Museveni. Fellow Ugandans, we should never allow a person like this to govern us. We all saw the American Ambassador breaking diplomatic protocol and trying to visit Bobi Wine at home recently. Why? As Donald Trump rightly said it is always “America First” and this is the absolute truth. If America is fighting to put Bobi Wine in the highest office, then it is because it will be in their best interests and it will be easy for them to control Uganda.
If they have a joint smoking puppet with no political experience on how to govern a country as the president of our country, they will come and take freely all the natural resources they can get and much more. They will be able to take control and impose their own ways on us, for example, they have already forced Bobi Wine to backtrack on what he said about gay rights in Uganda. So he is now on their side, as regards to gay rights. Whereas President Museveni has stood his ground and told them that we do not promote gay rights in Uganda. We have all seen how black people are treated in America.
What makes Bobi Wine believe that Americans love him so much? He needs to stop deluding himself. We all know the history, how Americans and others from Western countries used to come to Africa with silly gifts, such as mirrors and match boxes for the kings and leaders and then take slaves, gold, diamonds and many other natural resources. So fellow Ugandans, let us never allow that kind of treatment from any foreign country. We don’t want the return of colonialism.
Bobi Wine says that the Army and Police are mistreating him and his supporters. Does he expect to be handled with kid gloves, when he is inciting violence and trying to take us back to where we were 40 years ago? We saw him get into a fist fight and violence in Parliament 3 years ago. Is that behaviour befitting of a President? What example was he displaying to the young, including his own children? We have never seen that behaviour in our Parliament before and it was a disgrace and an embarrassment to our country. Is he a good role model to the young people of Uganda with his history of illicit drug use and tattooed body? Our children are now being taught that it is acceptable to take drugs or fight at work.
He says that he is using non-violence. He does not realise that his language is violent and it is inciting violence among young people. Who would accept anyone to use the kind of verbal aggression he has been using towards President Museveni. He calls him dictator, murderer etc. Most leaders would have locked him up, like what President Putin has just done to his opponent in Russia.
Bobi Wine needs to understand that you cannot achieve success by putting another person down. He is trying too hard to convince us that President Museveni is bad. We don’t need Bobi Wine to tell us anything, we have all known President Museveni for many years and we can make our own judgments and decisions. We need to know his vision for Uganda and what fresh ideas he can bring if he wants to lead our country. We are tired of his false accusations against President Museveni.
Bobi Wine says that President Museveni is not Ugandan. Has he ever spoken to the elders in his hometown, who know him well and know his ancestors? Has he ever studied the history of the Bantu people, how they travelled from North Africa to South Africa, and how they settled in different countries? Does he know where his ancestors came from? What makes him more Ugandan than President Museveni?
Bobi Wine’s interviews have all demonstrated one thing, that he doesn’t know anything about governing a country. His interview with Zeinab Badawi, UK BBC Hard Talk was very embarrassing because he could not answer any of her questions. The same applies to all his interviews. He is not able to say what he intends to do better for our country, his vision and policies. All he does, is keep repeating the slogan “People Power,” and that “President Museveni is a dictator,” over and over again. Is he saying that all the people of Uganda will lead the country? It appears that he believes that he is going to do a better job than President Museveni, but it is obvious that he doesn’t understand what it takes to govern a country. He is unable to display any articulate plan that will better our country. Those young people who can’t tell the difference between being popular in music and having the skills and ability to govern a country also need some education from our elders.
Bobi Wine says that he is fighting to eradicate unemployment. Does he sincerely believe that he will have more than 75% of our population in employment? Even the wealthiest countries, that have had democratic governments for many years, have unemployment. There is unemployment in the USA, UK, Canada, France, Italy, and all over the world. So, let us not be fooled by such empty promises.
Ugandans need to find out for themselves about the distribution of wealth in America and other countries, and then they can begin to understand that the distribution of wealth is not always equal or fair, even in the wealthiest countries.
Fellow Ugandans, we want a change that will move us forwards, not backwards. Bobi Wine may fight for power, but even if he gets there, it will not be surprising if he is removed from office within a short time, by the army or someone else, because it is obvious that he will not make a successful president. He doesn’t have the vision nor the leadership skills, required of a president. He is just relying on people power.
We all know, that before you get any job, you need a good CV and character references. Would anyone give Bobi Wine a job let alone the job of the President of Uganda? They say that he failed all subjects at school and he was only good at music. So he has poor academic attainment, fist fighting at work, and a history of illicit drug use. Which country in the world would choose this kind of person to be their leader? Is he going to be in the right state of mind to make good decisions for our country or have the ability to command the army after smoking a joint? Ugandans, wake up! May be it is because we have many young people in our country, who have never experienced the worst possible and can’t envisage what could happen to us and our country if we don’t choose our leaders wisely?
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” (John F. Kennedy). This famous quote from President Kennedy resonates with all of us right now. What can we all do to make our motherland, the Pearl of Africa, better, where we can all enjoy love, peace, harmony, prosperity, good health and good leadership? We need to get together and act with love and wisdom. We need to look at other countries that have improved, for example how Rwanda has managed to eradicate tribalism after genocide in a few years.
If we look at other wealthy countries, people usually have two to four children, even millionaires, but it is still very common in Uganda for men to produce children with many different women, and for women to produce 5, 10, 15 or more children. There is one woman in Uganda who has 38 children. People are happy to have several children even if they are living in poverty.
Many businesses in wealthy countries are family run. They don’t belong to governments. These businesses are in most cases passed on from generation to generation. We are not doing very well on passing on generational wealth. There is still this belief, that you can just produce many children, and let each one of them go and fend for themselves and start from scratch. We are also not doing very well as regards to family unity, this could also stem from the fact that people are producing too many children.
For example, if a man has two sons, it is much easier for them to work together, but if he has 15-20 children, there is likely to be disagreements among them. For example, it is very common in Uganda for a parent to leave a piece of land to his children, and in most cases they usually divide it among themselves and each one ends up with a small useless plot, that cannot generate much wealth, whereas, if they could stay united and use that piece of land to create generational wealth, by planting in cash crops, putting up rental properties, or starting some sort of business, it would mean that their children and grandchildren will have somewhere to start and not be born into poverty.
Uganda is blessed with fertile land and we need to encourage our youth to consider agriculture and not overlook it as some low class work. People who are doing it are mostly financially better off than office workers. Agricultural produce can be exported to neighbouring countries and abroad.
We need to find out why more than 75% of our population is under 35 years of age. This means that we have too many young people and few older people who have accumulated their wealth and are not seeking employment or creating employment opportunities. What is our morbidity and mortality rate? Why is the average life expectancy in Uganda 62 years? We have not heard Bobi Wine addressing such issues. That is because he does not have a plan or vision for Uganda. We can all get together and make our contributions in one way or another. That is people power!
The writer is a UK-based Psychiatric Nurse.