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Museveni’s missing campaign

Why Bobi Wine is surging and what the president can do to stem the tide other than beating him up

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | There is a wave of excitement in favour of Bobi Wine and his bid for the presidency. The recent riots and their spread across the country only provide a glimpse into the popular interest in him. Anyone who has seen the traffic on social media would know his appeal. To underestimate his potential would therefore be to bury one’s head in the sand. Yet NRM seems impervious to these realities.

Many factors favour Bobi Wine. He has been a popular musician, so he has name recognition and a strong brand. He is also fresh because he has not been in politics before. He is young, and our country has one of the youngest populations in the world. He is Muganda, Uganda’s largest tribe. He is a Catholic, our country’s largest religion. Then he has his roots in the ghetto where the poor and dispossessed in urban areas live; so they identify with him.

Meanwhile, our president is old and makes little effort to make himself appealing to the young. He is strong on public policy and affable but often looks exhausted. I wonder why he stages his televised campaign events in such a state.  He gives a litany of his achievements but has failed to articulate any reason why people should give him yet another mandate to govern for another five years.

Now while Bobi Wine’s campaign has passion and enthusiasm, Museveni’s team also looks tired, bored and disinterested in what he is saying but in awe of him. They seem incapable of grasping the structural transformation that this government has engendered. So their campaign strategies are out of step with the new Uganda that Museveni has created. Given the rancour of Bobi Wine supporters, a sophisticated Museveni campaign can expose the dangers of this group.

The biggest structural transformation in our country has been in social technology. Social media is now the biggest influence on this campaign.  Yet the Museveni campaign team, if there is any such thing, has no viable social media strategy, save for poorly designed and ineffective isolated, not coordinated, efforts. The paradox is that if Bobi Wine performs very well in this election, it will be more because of Museveni’s achievements than his failures.

According to the Uganda Communications Commission by October 31, 2020, there were 20 million internet subscribers in Uganda, up from 15 million as of December 31, 2019, and up from 4.7 million as of December 31, 2015. Internet traffic between July and October averaged 19 million. Part of this growth is global; a result of declining costs of both smart phones and internet access. But government policy has also made it possible.

Then the demographics: we have a population of about 43 million people. Of these, only 45% are 18 years plus. Bobi Wine is 38 years old while Museveni is 76. The people aged between 18 and 40 years constitute 80% of the adult/voting population. The people aged 75 years and above are 1.7% of voters. The people aged 50 years plus, the constituency most likely to appreciate where Museveni has bought this country from, are only 13% of the voters. Many young Ugandans not appreciate our gains and take them for granted.

17 comments

  1. One thing you don’t seem to understand is that people want change, any change. The best thing NRM would have done with Museveni’s endorsement and support is come up with another person as their presidential candidate. This new candidate would then ride on NRM’s achievement for the last 35 years.

  2. “I meet many young people, especially young pretty girls, who really find Museveni cool and prefer him to Bobi Wine”

    Most of the young especially the young pretty girls that love the old man never bothered to register to vote, the few that registered to vote will be too busy to line up to vote & in any case they are few (maximum 100,000 votes).

    The young people you interacted most likely ,like Andrew Mwenda, are of middle/ruling class who are comfortable with the status quo & may lose all that under a Bobi wine presidency & that could explain the anti Bobi wine sentiments.

    Sophisticated social media campaigns plus long & detailed explanations of Uganda history by Museveni doesn’t & won’t address the needs & demands of the underprivileged Ugandans.

    These demands/needs include;

    -limited or no job opportunities especially for the urban youth

    -poor & expensive housing (no public housing)

    -nepotism/tribalism

    -expensive bank loans & govt bias that seems to favor foreigners at the expense of natives case in point basoga sugarcane farmers vs indian sugar millers.

    -High taxes + heavy-handed & biased Uganda Revenue Authority

    -Expensive healthcare especially in urban areas were govt health services are practically non-existent.

    -Expensive education especially in urban areas were UPE,USE is practically non-existent.

  3. Andrew your research might be viable but let me also give you what I researched recently,
    Yes your right about demographics but they are places where there are youth but don’t know about bobi wine i.e Western uganda, majority of North and some parts of Eastern, so me won’t buy the idea of youth learning with bobi wine.
    I some parts people only talk about FDC and NRM E.g eastern uganda, northern uganda, Western uganda and some parts of central. Will end by saying m7 will win with 75 percent

  4. Samson, as you say, the best thing that M7 could have done would have been to hand over 5 or 10 years ago when things were at their peak. But now it is too late. This is due to several factors, but the biggest of them all is the person himself M7.
    M7 trusts absolutely no one, is suspicious of each and everyone including his wife and even his son. He has seen what happened in Zimbabwe with Mugabe where he was deposed by those he trusted most and whom he thought owed him everything that they were. He has seen what has happened in Angola and what is happening to Santos and his family, even when he thought he had handed over to someone he thought he could trust and thought would trust him. M7 is scared of even his own shadow.
    M7 like I said in my last postings on another topic, has an inferiority complex, what we call obukopi or obutindi. He is the one and only one who wants to be in control of everything, deciding who gets and doesn’t get, who dies and lives. He can not phantom anyone else living in state house, representing Uganda at all these international meetings, going on the presidential jet, meeting the Pope, meeting the next POTUS, etc etc.
    He is scared s89tless thinking that the next person will come in and do a better job than he has done.
    Most of all there are those who can not imagine their future without M7, of which our own M9 might be one. With M7 all those around him imagine themselves as the next minister, the next RDC, the next ambassador etc etc and those who have benefited mostly illegally see him as their protector and do not imagine how things will be when he goes since their positions are not institutionally guaranteed, but as a result of their personal connections to M7.
    In an ideal situation, BW would be nowhere near the presidency but is a creation of the circumstances that M7 has created where as you say people just want change no matter what, or without knowing what the consequences will be. M7 has created the monster that is going to devour him.

  5. To most of those abali mukintu M7 is the known quantity, he is the DEVIL they KNOW. They do not know what will happen when someone else takes over. Even Janet say doesn’t know what will happen if Muhoozi takes over, being as it is he is not her biological son; likewise Muhoozi doesn’t know what will happen to him if Janet takes over. And so the same goes for the supporters in the corresponding camps.
    I find it almost stupid when people like M9 seem to suggest that all the development and probably even the sunshine, rainfall and the air we breathe is because of M7.Is it M7 who has taken the internet to Rwanda, or Burkina Faso? Some of these things are a consequence of other factors completely out of control of one single factor. Even for some of these things we have what we call ” unintended consequences”. M7 welcomed some of these things because they would provide an avenue through which he would make money that he and his people would then steal or use to support their lavish lifestyle, the same things have become the weapons against them.
    Real KARMA!!!!!!

  6. M7 is not campaigning because of several factors. First of all he has run out of lies, because most of not all his previous campaigns have been lies, he himself is a lie. He has also run out of people to lie to because people no longer believe his lies, as they say he has been found out.
    All along M7 has not allowed people to articulate issues, campaigns have always been about a show of brute force and intimidation. This is what people have been fed on all this time. It becomes very difficult now for him to turn around and start articulating issues, and most people now see whatever he puts across as mere lies.
    M7 himself doesn’t seem to believe let alone the lies he has been telling and feeding the gullible people. Over time, he thought by repeating his lies they would become the truth, but it has not happened. Even he thought that with time he too would believe his own lies. Alas, it hasn’t happened.
    Those around him, shameless as they may be, the likes of M9 n his nemesis Tamiira Mirinda, are also ashamed of the lies despite their efforts to pretend otherwise. And they blame everybody for what has gone wrong except M7; blaming the fictitious Mafiya Ganga, Mutwe gwa pusi, Lutwetwe etc etc.
    Despite not wanting it, they are looking to and are preparing for a future without M7. They are wishing for the best while preparing for the worst.

  7. Mwenda who told you that every youth will vote for Kyagulanyi, that Greedy and selfish boy. for your information Factors that youth are following bobwine is because most have heard him as a musician and listened to his songs but had never met him. So they are using this chance to look at their musician but not a president. Wake up and see

  8. Those who follow bobi wine follow him to be sacrificed. Take note that at every rally this devil worshipper gives satan people’s blood, in being shot, or accidents which result in death. Ugandans pray against this dracular.

    • Tunku Abdallah Rahman

      That Dracula is Museveni who thrives on bloodletting. The killers are his security agents, namely police and the army. You can’t blame Bobi Wine for killings ordered by Museveni….that’s utterly ridiculous!

  9. Do you know what you are talking about Mwenda you are right

  10. This article is targeted at closing social media. I applaud your analysis though you misinterpreted Karl Marx prediction to fit your montage for an analysis.

  11. Museveni has become a despotic, extravagant leader like king Louis xiv. Imagine buying 60+ bicycles for all village chairpersons, one could ask where he got that money from.

  12. …..but has failed to articulate any reason why people should yet give him another mandate to govern for more five years!

    Reason is crystal clear: To falsely avoid an excursion to Luzira Upper maximum prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity!

    I like Mr M9’s naivety; he genuinely doesn’t know why M7 is clinging onto power by hook or crook! From Luweero “Triangle” atrocities to genocide in Northern Uganda to Mukura train wagon massacres to many many more other state-inspired killings and disappearances, to bank robberies as well as general official lootings (remember in the mid-nineties when he officially sanctioned his lieutenants to loot state resources provided they reinvested the loot within the boundaries of his trading company called Uganda?).

  13. Andrew Mwenda is looking for the social media deal. He is on about it even on the radio talk shows that he hosts and the way he presents his arguments clearly shows he is after landing a social media deal. He is a top mafia. Remember it is the 5 billion social media deal which he got through his underhand ways that made him fall out with the former long term presidential press secretary Tamale Mirundi. That a side, Mwenda has completely lost his integrity in a short time than anyone could ever imagine. @ Ejakait, you raised good points.

  14. Edward Woods Kikambi

    The problem is M7 is failing at what he was good at previously, it is called timing. He is promising to secure a future, for people a quarter his age by consolidating power, at a time when he should be leaving. Bidandi once told M7 that winning elections is the easy part, but if you stay too long, you will be forced by circumstances to do despicable acts that you never dreamed of, for the sake of power perpetuation.

  15. Where did my message go?

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