With today’s arrest of Bobi Wine, one of Uganda’s leading opposition leaders, the bribe-taking dictator of 33 years Gen. Yoweri Museveni shows his fear that the ongoing revolution in Algeria and Sudan will soon reach his doorstep. In those countries People Power, mass public protests, toppled long-ruling tyrants Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Omar al-Bashir over the last few weeks.
In both Algeria and Sudan the regime ordered security forces to crush protests demanding an end to dictatorship. In each case, the street demonstrations overwhelmed the security forces whose members ultimately sided with the people. The revolution started in Algiers and traveled to Khartoum. The revolution is heading to Uganda.
The Museveni regime today arrested Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a. Bobi Wine. He is also one of Uganda’s most popular change-agents
. He is also a musician and the regime prevented him from holding a musical concert. The dictatorship claimed his concert was cancelled out of security concerns for the safety of Bobi Wine’s supporters. This is of course nonsense since the biggest threat to the safety and well being of Ugandans has actually been Museveni’s security forces.
The crimes committed by the security forces, under orders from Gen. Museveni, include: the ongoing violent land-grabs in the northern part of Uganda including in the Apaa region; the Kasese massacre
of more than 150 people including women and children; and the unresolved recent assassinations, suspected to have been carried out by state agents, of prominent Ugandans, including: Muhammad Kirumira, the brave officer who exposed corruption within the police force; Ibrahim Abiriga, a Member of Parliament; and, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, a senior police officer. These are only recent victims.
We need not go back into the numerous crimes carried out by the regime over the past 33 years, not only in Uganda but also in the neighboring countries invaded by Museveni’s military: Rwanda, in 1990, the Congo
numerous times since 1996, and South Sudan in 2013.
It’s clear that Ugandans have had enough. For years the protests had been led by the brave Dr. Kizza Besigye, who remains one of Uganda’s leading opposition leaders. He was robbed of presidential election victory by Gen. Museveni in 2016 and in previous elections.
Mass opposition to Museveni’s dictatorship has grown with the emergence of Bobi Wine. He and other Ugandan Members of Parliament traveled to Arua last August to campaign for Kasiano Wadri an opposition candidate in a Parliamentary special election. Museveni panicked and also traveled to Arua to support the candidate of his own ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) dictatorship party.
When Museveni saw the crowds heading to the Bobi Wine-backed candidate’s rallies he ordered a violent crackdown. Bobi Wine and the other MPs, as well as their supporters, were violently beaten and arrested. Even then Museveni was loudly repudiated when Wadri won the Parliametary seat. Bobi Wine, Wadri and the other opposition MPs were all later falsely charged with treason.
It was due to the mass protests that erupted throughout Uganda that led to the release of Bobi Wine and the other MPs. He and MP Francis Zaake, the ones who received the most severe injuries from beatings and torture, were allowed to travel overseas for treatment as international pressure mounted on dictator Museveni.
Now Museveni faces more pressure. He knows that Ugandans, and the world, are watching how he reacts to the developments in Algeria and Sudan. Only a few weeks ago Bouteflika and Bashir, both military rulers disguised as civilians –like Museveni– seemed untouchable.
Yet, no force can withstand the power of a united opposition. That is what People Power represents in Algeria and Sudan. That is what People Power represents in Uganda.
Dictator Museveni may continue harassing and brutalizing the opposition leaders Dr. Besigye and Bobi Wine. But change in Uganda is inevitable.
Gen. Museveni’s days of tyranny are numbered.
People Power will triumph.