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Uganda's Kyagulanyi 'Bobi Wine' blazes his trail on quest to unseat Museveni's 35-year rule

kyagulany sentamu robert

              Kyagulanyi Sentamu Robert--Courtesy photo: Facebook

 by Joseph Earnest, November 15, 2020

Updated November 27, 2020

Updated December 3, 2020


Newscast Media KAMPALA, Uganda—The stakes are high. The lines have been drawn. Uganda's Kyagulanyi Sentamu Robert, fondly known as Bobi Wine, with his indefatigable determination, has cast the die with the intent of unseating incumbent President Yoweri Museveni.


No one could have imagined that this musician by profession would embark on such an undertaking in a police state like Uganda, whose security organs have earned a reputation of oppressing their own citizens who challenge the ruling party. Indeed Kyagulanyi has put his life on the line, and was almost killed in August 2018 while visiting the northern town of Arua, after having been assaulted by Uganda's security forces.


There were several obstacles Bobi Wine had to overcome after he declared his presidential bid on July 24, 2020. "On behalf of the people of Uganda, I am challenging you to free and fair elections," Kyagulani stated, referring to the current president, who has been in power since 1986.


"President Museveni and his praise singers dismissed us as inconsequential. The people pf Uganda continue to prove them wrong," Bobi Wine said.


At the time, he did not have a political party but was the leader of the "People Power" movement. This is a grassroots movement, the majority of which is made up of youth from different walks of life. Some are from the ghetto, slums, villages—and city dwellers are also included in it. The greatest dissatisfaction Ugandans have is the youth unemployment which is one of the highest in the world.


Currently Bobi Wine is on the campaign trail in northern Uganda and he said he was struck by the poverty level in Karamoja, which is one of the richest parts of Uganda in terms of minerals such as gold and marble. According to the US Department of Justice, children from the Karamoja region are trafficked and also migrate to Kampala where they engage in begging, street vending, domestic work, and commercial sexual exploitation.


Despite the poverty they are facing, the great reception Bobi Wine received in Lira on November 12, 2020, is perhaps the greatest gathering of people in the north seeking change, since the formation of the failed British experiment called Uganda. Not even live bullets or tear gas could disperse the crowd.



 Hundreds of thousands of people in Lira welcome Bobi Wine as they chant his name


On July 22, 2020, when Bobi Wine launched his political party called the National Unity Platform NUP, he became a serious contender and Museveni's biggest threat. Museveni had never faced a true opposition movement since 1986. The Democartic Party DP, Uganda People's Congress UPC, Forum for Democratic Change FDC and other smaller parties were simply proxies for the the state, to give the false impression that Museveni had an opposition.


Enter Kyagulanyi, July 2020. He faced intimidation and was even taken to court, on the premise that  his NUP party was illegally acquired. One politician went as far as stating the party's color "red" infringed on another party's copyrights. Absurd! The US Republican Party's color is Red, should one say that Republicans are violating copyrights because they use red?


However, Museveni was not done with Kyagulanyi yet. On October 14, 2020 state operatives raided Bobi Wine's party headquarters. Wine was lucky to escape because he had "spotters" who tipped him off while he was meeting his fellow youth. He famously said, "Nze kati nebwentema," meaning, "I think I can now vamoose."


A week later, on October 21, 2020, Bobi Wine enjoyed a court victory from the lawsuit that accused him of illegally acquiring the National Unity Platform. In his ruling, Justice Musa Sekaana dismissed the suit against Bobi Wine, including costs, and said,"This court declines to entertain the application since it was not brought under any known procedure and secondly it was made to avoid the time limit of 3 months within which an application for judicial review should have been brought. The judicial review guidelines or rules equally provide for locus stand and this would have been the threshold before the applicants would seek to challenge actions of a party. It is an abuse of court process.” 


On November 3, 2020, Bobi Wine was formally nomitated as the flagbearer of NUP party, and challenger to Museveni's regime. Shortly after his nomination, he once again was arrested by state operatives, and was beaten in front of his wife, for challenging Museveni.

bobi wine

Robert Kyagulanyi being beaten in front of his wife--Courtesy photo: Facebook


The act of beating a man in front of his wife was taken from the playbook of slavery. Here, male Black slaves were stripped and flogged before their wives, sisters and daughters. The psychological impact that it has had on Black families in America is that the majority of Black American women secretly hate and despise Black men, because slavery portrayed the men as deplorable. This has resulted into an epidemic of broken homes in Black communities. Some have referred to this condition as Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.


slavery picture

Black men being publicly beaten in front of their wives, sisters and daughters to psychologically instill resentment of Black women toward Black men. Flogging the Negro; from an abolitionist book which gives a detailed description of the scene illustrated here ( pp. 206-8). The public whipping took place in Lexington, Missouri in Feb. 1856. This illustration appears to be a composite of several illustrations that appear earlier in Henry Bibb, Narrative of the Life and Adventures of . . . an American Slave (New York, 1849), pp. 106, 133.


On November 7, 2020, Bobi Wine launched his manifesto in Mbarara, a city in western Uganda and announced that his campaign trail would commence from the city of Arua which was the birthplace of the People Power movement.  You may download Bobi Wine's entire manifesto here:    


Wine has since traversed the northern region as follows:

  • Nov 10, 2020: journey to Arua began via Pacwach and Nebbi. Wine entered Arua in a heavy downpour of rain, which symbolized to them blessings from above.
  • Nov 11, 2020: Bobi Wine and company entered Kitgum at 3:00 am, then proceeded to Pader and ended in Gulu.
  • Nov. 12, 2020: Wine left for Kamdini, Oyam, Apac, then the famous reception of the people of Lira occurred.
  • Nov. 13, 2020: Kyagulanyi headed to Kaabong in Karamoja, Kotido and Moroto, where Bobi Wine and crew were under siege by police. These townships are in the nation-state called Karamoja.
  • Nov. 14, 2020: Kyagulanyi disembarked from the vehicle and jogged through Amuria town, went to Soroti and addressed a mammoth crowd, which is in the nation-state of Teso.
  • Nov. 15 2020: Mr and Mrs. Wine started the day in prayer at St. Patrick Madera Catholic Church in Soroti. Wine headed for Kumi, Sironko(where he was blocked from addressing his people), and entered Mbale town where police teargassed him for giving Ugandans hope.

============CAMPAIGN TRAIL UPDATE===========

  • Nov. 16, 2020: Bobi Wine campaigned in Mayuge, then under heavy police intimidation, Wine and staff entered Iganga in Busoga. The last rally of the day was in Bugiri.
  • Nov. 17, 2020: The Wine train will campaign in Butalejja, Tororo, then Busia.
  • Nov. 18, 2020: The campaign trail will proceed to Luuka, Buyende, then Kamuli.*(Bobi Wine was arrested while campaigning at Luuka. After intense riots, Wine was freed on Nov.20 on a non-cash bond in Kamuli court)
  • Nov. 23, 2020: Bobi Wine campaigned in Kyegegwa, Kyejojono and Fort Portal in the Tooro sub-region
  • Nov. 24, 2020: The campaign trail commenced to Bundibugyo, Bunyangabo and Kasese district.
  • Nov. 25, 2020: The People Power campaign was taken to Kigadi, Kibaale and eventaully Hoima City. In Hoima, Kyagulanyi's hotel was surrounded by Museveni's unprofessional soldiers in an effort to indtimidate Wine. Bobi Wine said, "In Hoima, after the military and police blocked us, they trailed us to the hotel to the hotel at which we plan to spend the night. Heavily armed military personnel have surrounded the hotel. Some are moving in a numberless (plateless) military van. Some operatives are non-uniformed, yet armed. They've assaulted journalists and chased them away from the hotel. Pray for Uganda! Work for a new Uganda."
  • Nov 26, 2020: Wine headed for Buliisa, Masindi (where he was blocked from addressing the people), and finally held a massive rally in Kiryandongo.Once again, Wine was prevented by the police from sleeping in a hotel in Mijeera. Wine spent the night sleeping in his car, while journalists slept on the ground as an act of solidarity with Bobi Wine.
  • Nov 27, 2020: Bobi Wine campaigned in Kyankwanzi, Kiboga and Kasanda. Mrs. Wine (Barbie Kyagulanyi) made surprise appearances on the campaign trail and spoke to National Unity Platform supporters.

Mr and Mrs Kyagulanyi--Courtesy photo: Facebook


  • Nov. 28, 2020: Bobi Wine's biggest rallies to date were in Nakasongola, Luweero and Nakaseke. These areas are referred to as the "Mecca" of the National Resistance Movement (NRM). However, the welcome Kyagulanyi received, left no question that he owns the countryside.
  • Nov. 30, 2020: The campaign trail continued to Mukono, particularly to: Nakifuma, Buikwe and Lugazi.  All attendances were humongous, despite the live bullets and teargas used to intimidate people. Mukono was really a labor of love. Nothing could extinguish the love people showed to Bobi Wine, as the crowds congregated to hear Wine's speeches.
  • Dec 1, 2020: Bobi Wine had to halt campaigning in Kayunga, Jinja and Kamuli, due an assassination attempt by the state, that he narrowly escaped.
  • Dec 2, 2020: Bobi Wine presented evidence to the Uganda Electoral Commission showing misconduct by the state, and held a press conference.
  • Dec 3, 2020: Bobi Wine continued with successful campaign trail to the Eastern region and made stops at Kibuku, Budaka and Manafwa.


Covering the campaign trail live, are the following media outlets:

Ghetto Media

Map Mediya

Uganda Empya

Ekyooto International


Below is an infographic of Kyagulanyi's northern campaign trail as he heads to the east then central region in the week of November 16, 2020.


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  Riots continue across Uganda as Bobi Wine is violently arrested


  Presidential candidate Bobi Wine narrowly escapes assassination









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