Museveni confirmed (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

“Freedom for Bobi Wine”: Opposition candidate Robert Kyagulanyi is being held under house arrest (Kampala, January 17, 2021)

Uganda’s long-term head of state Yoweri Museveni is allowed to remain in office for another five years. On Saturday, the electoral commission of the East African landlocked country declared the 76-year-old the winner of Thursday’s presidential election. His strongest challenger, Robert Kyagulanyi, who voted for 34.8 percent of the electorate, has been under house arrest since he voted. After the first preliminary results were announced on Friday, he spoke at a press conference in front of his house “of the worst electoral fraud the country has ever experienced.” The candidate of the Alliance for National Transformation, Mugisha Muntu, also spoke of “completely fake” results on Saturday. Incumbent Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since he marched into the capital Kampala with his rebel group, the National Resistance Army, said in a TV speech that the election would go down in history as the “most fraud-free” election.

Both positions can hardly be checked. The President made sure early on that election fraud could hardly be detected. The EU’s offer to send observers was rejected by his government; the planned US delegation received so few accreditations that Washington finally recalled them completely. Even the African Union’s observer mission, which, in contrast to the Western powers, was actually charged with reviewing a regular election process, was severely curtailed and largely left without access to rural regions. According to its leader Samuel Fonkam Azu’u, he could not say whether the election was free and fair. When asked about Kyagulanyi’s allegations, the Cameroonian replied that he could not “talk about things that we have not seen or observed.”

Kyagulanyi has said he has video evidence of the electoral fraud, but will not produce this evidence until Museveni’s government lifts the full internet ban that began the day before the election. However, this has not happened so far. Instead, police and army forces surrounded the house of the opposition politician. A spokesman for Kyagulanyi said he was not allowed to leave his property and that no one would be allowed to see him, neither journalists nor people who wanted to bring food. An army spokesman gave opposite Reuters that the emergency services would weigh up the dangers that the politician could face if he left his property. He is therefore prevented from doing so “in the interests of his own safety.”

The situation in Uganda reveals two things. First: Museveni is unwilling to give up his power through elections. Second, his regime does not even consider it necessary to go to any lengths to cover up the harassment of the opposition. She doesn’t have to do that either and she knew that since November at the latest. 54 opposition supporters were killed within two days during protests against one of Kyagulanyi’s countless arrests. There was no major international outcry. Repeatedly, Museveni’s security apparatus, in which he installed his son in a leading position, prevented performances by Kyagulanyi, who was particularly popular among the younger classes and who had become famous as a reggae musician under the stage name Bobi Wine before he went into politics.

Under fair conditions, Museveni in Uganda, where a good half of the population is not yet 18 years old, would be at a loss to the 38-year-old, at least in perspective. But the long-term president – supported by the West from the start of his rule – knows that his military power is an indispensable “security anchor” in the region. He can sit out the quiet criticism of the election farce.


Ugandan President re-elected for sixth term

The current president, 76-year-old Yoweri Museveni, won the presidential election, according to a statement from the African Uganda election commission. The commission said that Mr. Museveni received almost 59% of the vote, and about 35% voted for his main rival, 38-year-old musician Boby Vine, according to the BBC. The victory was announced amid accusations of tampering with the results by Mr. Vine.

“The Election Commission announces Yoweri Museveni … elected President of the Republic of Uganda,” said Election Commission Chairman Simon Mugenyi Byabakama. The turnout was 57% of the nearly 18 million registered voters, he said.

Following the election, Yoweri Museveni remains in power for a sixth term. He has been in charge of Uganda since 1986.

Boby Vine has promised to provide evidence of the fraud. The election commission denies falsification of the results of the vote held on Thursday, January 14.

Read more about the elections in the publication “Kommersant” Long-Liver President Against the “President of the Ghetto” “.


Elections in Uganda: red card for the eternal ruler

After 35 years in power, President Museveni wants to be re-elected. But the 38-year-old political rapper Bobi Wine steals the show from him.

Sweat and dust. Bobi Wine on the road with election campaigners in eastern Uganda Photo: Sumy Sadurni

KAMPALA taz | Red, yellow, blue: these colors dominate Kampala’s streets. Everywhere in the Ugandan capital there are posters with politicians, there are Covid-19 masks with party symbols, and street vendors sell umbrellas, clothes and stickers in the colors of the parties.

Uganda faces a fateful election on Thursday. President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled with his “National Resistance Movement” (NRM) since 1986, is running for a sixth elected term after 35 years in power. The 76-year-old is competing for the first time with a representative of the generation that grew up under his rule: Robert Kyagulanyi, better known under his stage name Bobi Wine, a 38-year-old reggae star who has mutated into a politician and has many fans, especially among young people and the unemployed.

Museveni’s party color is yellow, Bobi Wines NUP (Party of National Unity) fights in red. Blue stands for the formerly most important opposition party FDC (Forum for Democratic Change), which this time only plays a minor role with its candidate Patrick Amuriat.

“I see myself as a representative of the majority,” said Bobi Wine of the taz at breakfast in his house last weekend. “85 percent of Ugandans are younger than me and don’t know anything but Museveni. We have a first class population stuck in a third world country. Museveni represents the past, I represent the future. “

A metal fence with lots of election posters pasted over it

Election campaign with posters in the Ugandan capital Kampala Photo: Sumy Sadurni

The election campaign is bloody and violent. When Bobi Wine was arrested at a campaign meeting in November, 56 people died in national unrest, unofficial estimates were higher. Whenever the opposition star appears in front of his fans, police officers and soldiers interfere with tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition.

On December 1, a bullet barely missed one of his employees in the back seat of his car. On December 27, most of his employees were arrested and are to be brought to a military tribunal – charges: live ammunition.

Family sent abroad for safety

Bobi Wine’s house on the outskirts of Kampala is mostly a lively place, full of friends, co-workers and children. But for a few days the mood has been subdued. Bobi Wine and his wife Barbie decided to send the children to the USA with their aunt for their safety. A forward-looking decision: on Tuesday morning, security forces surrounded the house while Bobi Wine gave an interview to a Kenyan radio station inside.

On Tuesday night, Bobi Wines NUP security chief David Lule was attacked by gunmen in his house and taken to an unknown location. “Reports of raids on many other NUP supporters’ homes continue to reach us and we know that this is being carried out by civil servants,” the statement said.

“Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing this,” says Bobi Wine at the breakfast meeting, there are eggs and tomatoes. “Things happen and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, what did I get into?’ Then I look around and ask myself, ‘What did I get people’s children into?’ But when I think clearly again, I remember it’s worth it. Doing nothing is more dangerous. “

Elections in Uganda have always been tense, but this time state repression is unprecedented, observers say. The police are targeting journalists and civil rights activists have been arrested. The government accuses the media of taking sides with the opposition.

At a press conference last Friday, police chief Martin Okoth Ochola warned the media: “If we tell a journalist not to go here and there, and you go where it is dangerous, we will beat you up for your own safety. I don’t have to apologize. We will help you so that you don’t go where it is dangerous. “

Campaign meetings are banned in Uganda, officially because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The many young people in red cheering by the hundreds to Bobi Wine and getting into his car when he drives through a town really don’t care much about distance rules and masks. Yet many think the pandemic is just an excuse to hold back the opposition.

Military vehicles on the streets

Tensions in Kampala are high. Police officers and soldiers patrol the streets, especially in the slums, Bobi Wine’s strongholds. Olive green military vehicles and water cannons are parked across the city, as if in preparation for a civil war.

“Museveni rules Uganda by means of violence, and the people are scared,” explains 30-year-old motorcycle taxi driver Ivan. “The old generation has power and we have no weapons. We just want Museveni to leave peacefully. Now is the time for Kyagulanyi. “

But the older generation and the business community still stand behind Museveni, whom they credit for leading Uganda to peace. Entrepreneur Katumba Patrick says Bobi Wine is too inexperienced to do anything for the country.

He will vote again for Museveni and: “Of course Museveni will win. But I admit that the country needs change. Taxes are high, the hospitals have no medicines and no one can afford school fees. “

Others are afraid of the election and of violence on election day. The electoral commission has banned staying at the polling station after the vote. Bobi Wine has now asked the voters exactly: “Come in large numbers and be there,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday: “Observe the election and the process, use your phones and your cameras. Protect your voices. “

Many young Bobi Wine enthusiasts are determined to do it and say they are ready to die for it. As NUP youth activist Maria puts it: “It is the ballot or the bullet” – the ballot or the ball.


Ghetto President stirs up Uganda (

Bobi Wine declared war on Yoweri Museveni by peaceful means.

Photo: dpa / Brian Inganga

“To face Museveni is like a death sentence,” said Joel Ssenyonyi, press spokesman for the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP), to “Al-Jazeera”. Shortly before the elections on January 14th, the military is patrolling the capital Kampala, some of them with heavy armored vehicles, to ensure security. Ten candidates want to challenge President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in office since 1986, and his National Resistance Movement (NRM). Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu from the progressive National Unity Platform (NUP) is particularly promising. The singer, who is known by the name of Bobi Wine and is celebrated by the poor as the “ghetto president”, repeatedly came into conflict with the security authorities in the course of his election campaign. They accused him of disregarding the guidelines for protection against Covid-19 at his events. “Unfortunately, some of our competitors didn’t follow the rules,” said Museveni. “They have gathered large numbers of people, which favors infections.” For Wine, however, the measures are just another means of stifling political competition. The army reportedly carried out a raid on Wine’s house on Tuesday, but this is officially denied.

The repression that opposition members have to live with in Uganda is not new. Kizza Besigye, founder of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), who had run four elections against Museveni since 2001, was arrested 1,023 times without being convicted once. During Museveni’s fight against the Milton Obote dictatorship, Besigye was his personal physician. In 1999, however, there was a rift. This year he finally decided not to run again because there were no fair terms. Instead, he now wants to use other means to mobilize against the incumbent. “If the constitutional framework is not in place, the people must stand up and fight to restore constitutionality,” Besigye told NTV Uganda. His successor Patrick Amuriat, who is now running for the FDC, has been arrested nine times since November, the last time on Sunday, according to reports in the Ugandan newspaper “Daily Monitor”. A few days earlier, a police officer shot at Amuriat’s convoy but was then placed under arrest.

The number one target for the government is Wine’s following. In protests against his arrest in November, more than 50 people died in clashes with the police within a few days. It wasn’t until the end of December that his bodyguard was run over by a police car. Economy Minister Baltazar Kasirivu-Atwooki barely survived an attack on Wednesday night. In the primary elections he was unable to prevail within Museveni’s NRM and is now running independently for a parliamentary mandate.

Since Tuesday, the mobile phone providers have also been blocking access to the Internet and social media at the behest of the national government commission for communications. Wine was only able to participate in a conversation about the elections with the German Africa Foundation with VPN. Facebook previously deleted allegedly fake accounts related to the government and involved in a campaign against Bobi Wine. Museveni said media opposing the NRM would not be tolerated in Uganda. One more reason to see Bobi Wine as an agent of foreign powers.

When asked about Museveni’s suspected foreign relationships and homosexual ties on an NBS Television program, Wine replied that it was a shame to ask this question to a married man. “I’d rather use my time to talk about our plans for this country,” he countered. “We are supported by Ugandans,” said Wine. “Museveni can talk what he wants, because he has nothing else to say.”

Boaz Murema, founder of the »Bantu« association, which supports development projects in Uganda, admires Bobi Wine for showing »the importance of the role of youth«. Many of the middle class have since given up on politics and do other things. “The current government promises a future that it has not been able to offer for 30 years,” the student told the “nd”. At an event organized by the Afro-German Academic Network last year, he had the opportunity to ask Bobi Wine about his political perspective. The most important task is first to overthrow the president, Wine would have replied. For Murema, however, Museveni is not the real problem, but his party and the system that created it. He lacks a specific program at Wine.


a presidential campaign under the sign of state violence

Yoweri Museveni, 76, is virtually certain of winning the Ugandan presidential election this Thursday, January 14. Since 1986, he has ruled this country without interruption, not hesitating to use violence to subdue his population and neutralize his opposition. In the last general election in 2016, he was re-elected in the first round with 60.75%. “We are certain of victory”, he already declared at the beginning of the year. On Tuesday, he suspended access to social networks and messaging services: Ugandans no longer have the use of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Signal and Viber. Once again, the presidential campaign was marked by violence against the opposition, primarily against ragga singer Bobi Wine, 38.

→ READ. Ugandan President Yoweri Musevini appears with Pope Francis for his election campaign

A campaign under the banner of state violence

Nothing has been spared him: multiple arrests, dispersal of his political meetings, flashballs, live ammunition, torture of activists in prison. The peak was reached on November 18, 2020: the police opened fire on his supporters who were protesting in the street against a new arrest of their candidate, killing 54 people.

→ INFOGRAPHICS. In Uganda, “presidency for life” for Yoweri Museveni

The other nine candidates were also targeted by the government. Patrick Amuriat, of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), systematically addressed his barefoot supporters to recall the aggression he was the victim of on the day of his candidacy. In the name of the fight against Covid-19, all large gatherings of these candidates have been deleted. A rule never applied to meetings of the presidential party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Elections in Uganda: indestructible Museveni

Bobi Wine, the rising star of Ugandan politics

If Bobi Wine has been so targeted by the police, it is because he is not an ordinary candidate for Yoweri Museveni. Known around the world, he embodies the expected change in this country ruled by an iron fist for thirty-five years. Especially among young people, in a country where population growth is one of the highest in the world (3.3% per year).

Bobi Wine has another potentially handicapping asset for Museveni: he is a Muganda (16% of the population), from the kingdom of Bouganda, now an administrative province, who gave his name to Uganda and who occupied a central place in the life of the country.

Yoweri Museveni less essential

This rise of the famous singer also comes at a time when Yoweri Musweni is no longer so indisputable for his main supporters, starting with Washington. Considered one of the prominent figures for Africa in the 1990s by the Clinton administration, this is no longer the case today because of its authoritarian drift and the new geopolitical situation in the region. .

The Tilenga project in Uganda, the excess of the “old world”

So even Assistant US Secretary of State for Africa Tibor Nagy said to himself on Tuesday “Concerned about reports that the Ugandan government has ordered internet providers to block social media and messaging”. And Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, urged “Ugandan authorities, particularly the security forces, to act in accordance with international human rights standards”.


Prevent collective deportations (daily newspaper Junge Welt)

White crosses with the words “humanity” and “charity” in the airport in Düsseldorf

Ulla Jelpke, domestic policy spokeswoman for the Left Party in the Bundestag, said with a view to the resumption of collective deportations to Afghanistan planned for Wednesday:

While stricter measures to contain the corona virus will come into effect nationwide from Wednesday onwards, people will continue to be deported in the midst of the pandemic – including to the war country Afghanistan, where bombs explode every day, civilians are killed and injured. It is scandalous that the federal government does not cease to force deportations to one of the most dangerous countries in the world. People must not be sent into war and misery.

The resumption of collective deportations, initially announced for mid-November, was canceled at short notice at the request of the government in Kabul. Just one month later, and shortly after the conclusion of a donor conference in Geneva, at which Afghanistan was promised to continue financing development aid until 2024 and the fight against “irregular migration” was resolved, the German government shamelessly makes the next attempt. It is a shame that the federal government uses the payment of development funds as a means of pressure to indulge its obsession with deportation.

A collective deportation to Guinea is also planned for Wednesday, and there are indications of a collective deportation to Iraq. Human rights are obviously of no importance to the interior ministers in the federal and state levels, as they recently demonstrated again with the non-extension of the deportation ban to Syria.

In a Press release from the Hamburg initiative »Supply Chain Act«From Monday it says:

Activists protested on Monday in the Hafencity Hamburg. You criticize the Hamburg world market leader in the green coffee trade. “Prevent displacement in Uganda, supply chain law now!” Is written on posters. “Displaced people are claiming their rights. Neumann-Kaffee-Gruppe refuses compensation «, criticizes the Hamburg initiative for a supply chain law, a broad alliance of churches, human rights groups and environmental associations. (…) »We demand from the managing director David M. Neumann to clearly admit to human rights due diligence of companies and to speak out publicly in favor of a supply chain law. With a supply chain law, the smallholders would have transferred their land under humane conditions, ”said Dr. Thomas Dürmeier from Goliathwatch. »For 19 years, the Neumann Coffee Group has benefited from being able to use land in Uganda for growing coffee, while many people live in abject poverty due to displacement. We call on the Neumann-Kaffee-Gruppe to compensate the displaced persons appropriately. Companies that buy coffee from Neumann should also urgently campaign for it, ”says Julia Sievers from the“ Agricultural Coordination ”.

4,000 people were displaced in 2001 in the Mubende district in Uganda, some of them by the army with violence, so that the Ugandan government could conclude a lease agreement with the Neumann Coffee Group. The lawsuit in Uganda was delayed for many years following the complaint by the displaced. (…)


Uganda, the land of youth

Uganda has long been associated with death. This landlocked East African country, ravaged by civil war for a long time, was also one of the first hotbeds of the AIDS epidemic in the world. Today, it is one of the two youngest countries in the world, along with Niger: 80% of the inhabitants are under 30 years old. And the average age is 16. “There is an exceptional dynamism that emanates from this young, hyperactive population”, notes Valérie Golaz, researcher at the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) and who has observed this country for four years.

→ PORTRAIT. 22-year-old Hilda Flavia Nakabuye for the love of Lake Victoria

During the time of AIDS and the war, fertility did not decline. Today, it is still seven children per woman, a figure which should drop to five in the coming years. “The motivations for having children can be to prove their fertility, to try to capture the other or to build security for old age in a country where social safety nets are almost non-existent, Valérie Golaz analysis. In a country which provides a framework for this youth, this can be a formidable asset. But if he is not offered the jobs commensurate with his skills, it can become a real waste. “

Little investment in the school

However, for the moment, unlike its neighbor Kenya, Uganda invests only moderately in family or education policies. The public school is of a low standard, forcing Ugandans to practice running to private schools to provide the best possible education for their children. But getting to university is expensive, and there is still little technical training. Two thirds will not go beyond primary education.

On the other hand, the country continues to favor its defense and its army. This is one of the outlets for this youth, especially to serve in international peacekeeping forces. Other young people take the path to South Africa, the Gulf countries or Kenya.

Despite this exile, in 2050 the Ugandans could be 100 million. They were 9.5 million in 1969. The majority of the population will always be employed in agricultural work. Here, the land is rich. In some areas, rates of 1,000 people per square kilometer are already being reached. Valérie Golaz summarizes: “The highlands are extremely fertile and can support people at this level of density. Societies and birth rates adapt to their environment. “


Prevent HIV by one injection

It’s a ritual. For thirty-three years, the 1is December is World AIDS Day. But this year, one pandemic is chasing another. To the point that UNAIDS was worried last week, not without reason, that “Covid-19 does not worsen the delay in the response to AIDS”, and “Urgently calls on countries to learn the lessons of inadequate health funding and take global action to end AIDS and other pandemics.” These days, however, there is movement on the AIDS front in terms of treatment and prevention. A sum of small steps which, in the end, revolutionize practices.

Let’s resume. At the end of the 80s, during the first world AIDS days, treatments were stammering. They were terribly restrictive – for AZT, it was taken every four hours, not to mention the risk of serious side effects. The improvements were therefore very limited for the patient. With the arrival of triple therapy in 1996, a giant leap was taken: admittedly, patients were obliged to take dozens of pills daily, but it worked remarkably well. Gradually, the treatment has been simplified and there are now very effective triple therapies requiring only one pill per day.

Almost a vaccine. And now, in the last few months, another antiretroviral has arrived, which is taken by injection once a month, or even every two months. It changes the lives of patients. No more daily catches. Better yet, in recent weeks, studies have shown that it can also work very well in prevention. Almost a vaccine, in short …

For nearly five years now, “Prep” (pre-exposure prophylaxis) has developed, a pill to be taken either every day or twenty-four hours before taking a risk and during the following two days. This gives excellent results, especially for same-sex relationships, with a prevention rate close to 100% if the person follows the protocol well.

There was still some uncertainty about the effectiveness for the woman. However, a study published in November revealed that cabotegravir – an antiretroviral to be injected every two months – almost completely prevents HIV infections in women. “These results are extremely important, reacted Winnie Byanyima, executive director of UNAIDS. We have long called for additional acceptable and effective HIV prevention options for women and this antiretroviral could be a real game-changer. ” Even adding: “If donors and countries invest in democratizing access to an injectable Prep for women at high risk of HIV infection, then this would significantly reduce new infections.”

High efficiency. This trial, conducted in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Uganda and Zimbabwe, was conducted among 3,200 women aged 18 to 45 at high risk of HIV infection. It was stopped prematurely because the results clearly indicated the great effectiveness of the injectable drug, including in comparison with a daily intake of one tablet. “The risk of HIV infection was nine times lower with an injection of cabotegravir than with the daily intake of Prep”, concluded the test. Impressive results. “Like a vaccine against Covid-19, we must now work so that these vital injections are accessible, affordable and distributed equitably to all those who have opted for them”, repeated UNAIDS.

Used as treatments (and no longer to prevent), antivirals by injection are also showing great promise. The info site Aidsmap has thus produced a synthesis (which can be found in French on Seronet) of the data on injectable treatment which were presented during the recent virtual conference IDweek (an annual conference on HIV treatments) . These studies highlight “The efficacy of the prolonged-release injectable combination of a combination of two molecules, cabotegravir and rilpivirine”. In the so-called Latte-1 study, after one year, 98% of people on injectable treatment had maintained an undetectable viral load. Studies also show that the injectable treatment is well tolerated. “A majority of participants said they prefer injectable treatment to oral treatment”, souligne Aidsmap.

There remains the last phase: the marketing authorization for this therapy which must now be approved by the European Medicines Agency. Each State then decides on the conditions of access, the price and the level of reimbursement.

Eric Favereau


Unrest in Uganda: blood flows in Kampala

In Uganda, the number of deaths is rising after the police crack down on supporters of the oppositionist Bobi Wine. The election campaign stands still.

Candidate Bobi Wine comforts a woman who lost her husband in the riots Photo: Stringer / afp

First there were 16 dead, then 28, then 37. By Sunday morning, the number of victims of actions by police and paramilitary forces against opposition demonstrators and young people in Uganda rose to 58 as of Wednesday; 49 of them lie in the city and university morgues of Kampala, the others died outside the capital. Hundreds of people are injured in hospitals.

The bloodiest unrest in Uganda for many years now calls into question the elections in January 2021, in which the 76-year-old President Yoweri Museveni, after 35 years in power, will for the first time face a serious opponent from the generation that grew up under his rule.

The 38-year-old music star Bobi Wine, real name Robert Kyaluganyi, leader of the NUP (National Unity Party), was arrested again by the police at a rally on Wednesday, as was the candidate of the largest opposition party FDC ( Forum for Democratic Chage), Patrick Amuriat. That sparked protests across the country – especially when rumors began to circulate that Bobi Wine was dead.

The police used massive violence, especially in the capital, against rioting youths who erected roadblocks from burning tires. The videos show armed uniformed men and those who are accompanied by armed men in civilian clothing, sometimes firing at people, sometimes at random, and at bystanders. Clouds of tear gas filled the shopping malls.

The election campaign is de facto suspended

On Friday, the army announced that from now on it would prevent further unrest with “preventive and decisive” operations. In a statement the police spoke of a “campaign” by “a group of 300 ringleaders who actively coordinated the distribution of car tires to hot spots using cars and motorcycles”. 577 people were arrested, some “ringleaders” – including elected community representatives – are still wanted.

Bobi Wine has been charged with breaching disease control measures. His election rally was suitable to spread Covid-19, it said. A judge released him without bail on Thursday. The election campaign has now in fact been suspended, and the number of votes is increasing to also cancel the elections entirely in order to avoid further bloodshed. The government rejects this, but demands a “scientific” election campaign – one without rallies.

The president blames homosexuals

“We have defeated AIDS and Ebola, we can also defeat Corona if people adhere to the protective measures”, wrote President Museveni on Twitter. He had previously blamed incitement from abroad, for example by homosexuals, for the protests and warned the opposition: “Anyone who attacks our supporters will lose the taste for it. You are entering a terrain where we are the experts. Keep your hands off it! “

In a joint declaration, all opposition candidates announced that they would join forces in the election campaign. “We will refrain from attacking each other,” they declared. “If any of us is arrested, harassed or ill-treated, we will all stand together in solidarity. We are fighting on different fronts, but our cause is the same. ”On Saturday and Sunday, prayers for the dead were held in Kampala’s churches.


Uganda, the rapper against the eternal president. Clashes after the arrest of singer Bobi Wine: already 37 dead

At least 37 victims of clashes in Uganda for the arrest of Bobi Wine, the 38-year-old musician who will challenge the current president to the polls on January 14th Yoweri Museveni, in command for 35 years. The rapper, released yesterday on bail, was accused of violating the measures imposed against the spread of Covid. Restrictions that prevent presidential candidates from speaking in groups of more than 200 people.

The presidential candidate was arrested on Wednesday shortly after arriving at his election campaign headquarters in Luuka district and has since been detained at the Nalufenya police station in Jinja district. On hearing of his arrest, thousands of people took to the streets across the country. Museveni, who at 76 is looking for a sixth term, has deployed the army on the street alongside the agents. 350 people were arrested and detained in the protests. Police justified the arrests by stating that demonstrators participated in the violence, setting fires and attacking those who were not supporters of the Platform of National Unity (Nup) – Wine’s party – and the security minister said yesterday that “he also has the right to shoot and kill if a certain level of violence is reached. May I repeat? The police have the right to shoot you and you die for nothing. “

From the demonstrators and videos on social media, the complaint against armed men in civilian clothes and not affiliated with any security service, accused of having opened fire on the crowd, rises instead.

Meanwhile, the other four opposition candidates, Bless Man, Henry Tumukunde, Norbert Mao e Fred Mwesigye, have suspended their electoral campaigns in solidarity with him. Wine’s wife, Barbara Itungo, gave an interview to Bbc in which he recounts the arrest of last Wednesday: forcefully taken from his car on his way to the rally. Two days, he says, without being able to see relatives or lawyers. All those who oppose Museveni and are holding rallies around the country, have been pinched by the authorities.

Bobi Wine is her rapper name. The young opponent is called Robert Kyagulanyi, he has been a parliamentarian since 2017 and is the great fear of the long-lived Ugandan dictator, the only one who could really override him. He has always challenged Museveni and he does it to the rhythm of rap. He is well acquainted with the country’s prisons and the brutal ways of the police. This is not his first arrest. In August 2018, the images that portrayed him massacred by kicks and punches in the face and all over the body, suffered during his umpteenth arrest, went around the world. Two years ago the world of international music rose up, including big names like Brian Eno and Chris Martin.

A kid from the ghetto who has something to say through music. This is how the popular rapper who has been making music since 2000 defines himself and claims to bring the hope of a better future to Ugandan youth precisely by virtue of his origin from the street. In court, before bail, he said to the judge: “This case shouldn’t be Uganda against Kyagulanyi, it should be Uganda against Museveni. It should be Museveni in this dock.” Wine will have to appear again in court on December 18th.

“When our leaders have become cheaters and masters, they have become torturers. When freedom of expression becomes the target of oppression, opposition becomes our position.” It is one of Wine’s lyrics titled Situka, “get up” in luganda, sung by the musician before the 2016 general elections.