The political rivalry between incumbent president Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni and musician turned politician, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine- seems to have taken a new twist with both candidates set for duelling “national addresses”, Sunday evening.
Bobi Wine’s 7:45pm Sunday address confirmation came just hours after senior presidential press secretary Don Wanyama had tweeted, “The presidential address deferred last Sunday will happen today [Sunday November 29, 2020].”
“Tonight, I will be addressing the nation about the state of our campaign and other matters of national importance,” reads a message dispatched by Bobi Wine across his social media platforms.
On the other hand, Mr Museveni’s address will aim its fangs at matters regarding security and the Covid-19 pandemic, says the National Resistance Movement [NRM] presidential candidate.
However, a section of Ugandans remain a bit hazy- whether Mr Museveni’s address will run as a ‘campaign’ or a justly ‘State of the Nation address.’
The rivalling Sunday night addresses somehow manifest not only a political contest but also a clash of “new age media” against “Traditional media” in Uganda’s case.
This, owing to the fact that the president’s camp emphasizes that Mr Museveni’s address will be broadcast on all TVs, Radio station and online while Bobi’s camp maintains that his campaigns will run entirely online.
Uganda is fast-racing towards hitting 17 million internet subscriptions with a Simon Kemp #Digital2020 report showing that social media penetration stood at about 5.6 percent; even as Uganda Communications Commissions (UCC) continues to emphasize that media users ought to seek authorization.
President Museveni’s televised address tonight will be the first instalment of many more weekly addresses that will run all through the campaign period; on each subsequent Sunday.
This implies that all factors held constant, Mr Museveni’s addresses will be happening routinely on Sundays until at least after January 14, 2021, but themed differently.
It remains unclear whether Bobi Wine will also hold weekly ‘national addresses’ especially with intent to thwart his political foe.
Bobi Wine last Sunday [November 22, 2020] snookered into the president’s plan to have his [Mr Museveni’s] maiden weekly national address, only for the president to suspend his.
The address packed Sunday night comes barely two weeks after the country witnessed a violent start to the electoral season ahead of the 2021 polls. It therefore, comes with no surprise that Mr Museveni has matters of security on his menu tonight.
A police report seen by the Daily Monitor early this week tallied up to 50 deaths of civilians, including those that were not ‘active participants’, during the November 18/19 pro-Bobi protest in several parts of the country.
The protests were sparked off following the arrest of Bobi Wine in Luuka district, and his detention at the infamous Nalufenya prison in Jinja city.
With all forms of mass media having their demerits and merits respectively, the viewer’s choice is all at stake ahead of these “National addresses” that Ugandans might have to brace for- going forward.
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