You should have backed my presidency bid, Bobi tells army

NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (in white shirt) holds an oar given to him by fishermen in Mayuge District during his visit on September 4, 2023 as part of his countrywide tour. PHOTO/PHILIP WAFULA

What you need to know:

  • The musician-turned-opposition leader is traversing various parts of the country.

The leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP), Mr Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, has said the police and the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers have missed salary increments that he would have effected had he become President. 
“Let me remind security what you have missed since Mr Museveni stole my election; Shs1m for the lowest-ranking police and UPDF officer,” Mr Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, said while addressing a rally in Mayuge Town. 

He added: “It is two-and-a-half years or about 30 months since that election. [President] Museveni has made you miss that money; he is the reason you are poor.”
Bobi Wine claims that the  2021 election, which was won by President Museveni,  was rigged.
He said he won the polls but his votes were stolen. 
Further in his remarks, Mr Kyagulanyi said he was given a bow and arrow, but in Busoga Sub-region, he has been given all the regalia befitting a head of state, including an oar.

“I have been given an oar in remembrance of those who have disappeared in the lakes due to UPDF’s high-handedness; when I return, I’ll be handing over your lake, and when I become President, my first directive will be that all soldiers vacate the lakes,” he added.
Mr Kyagulanyi,  who opened NUP offices in Mayuge, was specifically responding to Ms Rita Nakayizza, the NUP Woman MP flag bearer in the 2021 elections, who said she was receiving several complaints from fishermen regarding harassment on lakes and poor working conditions on landing sites.

While justifying his countrywide tours, Mr Kyagulanyi said: “I am not here for campaigns or to get votes because you already voted for me; however, I am here to prepare you to know that anytime you know what to do.”
Mr Kyagulanyi told residents of Busoga that the recent wave of coups in Africa, and most recently in Gabon, where President Ali Bongo was toppled by the army, is a manifestation of the power of the people.
“We could have already ousted Mr Museveni because we won him in style, wisdom and are younger, but we want you people to take power in your majority,” he added.

During the gathering, former Bunya East and South MPs; Mr James Waira Kyewalabye and Mr Robert Ntende respectively, defected from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party to NUP.
Mr Kyagulanyi is conducting a countrywide tour, which has so far taken him to Mbarara, Kasese, Fort Portal and Mayuge.
For the first time since his elective terms started in 1996, Mr Museveni lost in his traditional strongholds of Buganda and Busoga in 2021. 
In Busoga, Mr Museveni got 404,862 votes, while Mr Kyagulanyi garnered 437,059 votes.

Mr Museveni only won in three of Busoga Sub-region districts of Buyende, Kaliro and Namutumba, and suffered defeats in Kamuli, Luuka, Iganga, Jinja, Bugweri, Bugiri, Namayingo and Mayuge.
During her visit to Mayuge District, in June,  the Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, asked locals to stop their alleged animosity towards President Museveni.

Ms Nabbanja was referencing the 2021 General Elections, in which President Museveni polled 47 per cent of votes in Mayuge District against 53 per cent of votes garnered by Mr Kyagulanyi.
Ms Nabbanja, who was presiding over the belated Mayuge District Women’s Day celebrations, said residents of Mayuge District never wanted President Museveni to return to power.

“You never wanted [President] Museveni to return to power during the previous election, but because people elsewhere voted for him, he was able to come back; so you should change the negative attitude towards him since he loves you,’’ Ms Nabbanja said.
Mr Aggrey Bagiire, the Bunya West Member of Parliament, had earlier attributed the 43 per cent garnered by Mr Museveni to the perceived mistreatment of fishermen by the UPDF soldiers fighting illegal fishing activities on Lake Victoria.

Mr Bagiire warned that if the mistreatment of fishermen is still ongoing, the National Resistance Movement will still get fewer votes in the 2026 polls.
Ms Nabbanja, however, promised to return to Mayuge to meet fishermen and see how their alleged harassment can be solved.