On May 13, 1981, a Turkish criminal, Mehmet Ali Agca, shot and wounded Pope John Paul II as the latter entered St Peter’s Square in the Vatican City.
The fact that Catholics highly revere the Pope did little to stop Agca from pulling the trigger.
Interestingly, the motivations behind such attacks can be counterintuitive.
For example, the attempt on then US president Ronald Reagan’s life in the same year had more to do with erotomania than political rivalry.
Erotomania is a mental illness where the patient falsely thinks that a high-status person is in love with them.
John Hinkley thought Hollywood actress Jodie Foster was in love with him, and he attempted to assassinate president Reagan to please her.
Such are the dangers celebrities face! And that is why Bobi Wine should take his personal security more seriously. It’s good he has started wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest; however, he must also tone down his impetuousness.
Recently, he attempted to lead a procession through the Jinja City centre, contrary to Electoral Commission guidelines.
Expectedly, the police denied him access to the city centre by staging an armed roadblock. Ever the hotspur, Bobi Wine tried to bulldoze his way past the roadblock forcing security to shoot at his car tyres.
The car eventually ground to a halt, but a member of Bobi Wine’s entourage fell off the car and got injured in the process. Fortunately, there were no other casualties.
Nonetheless, it could have been worse! A gaping hole, suspected to be a bullet hole, had emerged on the left side of Bobi Wine’s car’s windscreen.
The singing politician immediately pounced on this and declared that he had, once again, narrowly survived an assignation attempt!
Now, let us humour Bobi Wine and assume the security forces intended to kill him, moreover on live television.
How come he was still standing before these armed men, unharmed? Had they suddenly run out of bullets?
Besides, are our Forces so incompetent at shooting that they always miss him? If so, how come we export them, upon request, to other countries such as Somali and Equatorial Guinea, where they are subsequently praised for combat readiness and effectiveness?
Obviously, our Forces have no standing order to kill Bobi Wine. If they did, he would be no more.
Yet, as we saw in the case of Pope John Paul II and president Reagan, individual actors, civilian or otherwise, can take it upon themselves to harm Bobi Wine, for reasons that have little to do with politics or music rivalry.
Besides, in scuffles like the one Bobi Wine recklessly instigated in Jinja, a stray bullet could easily harm him or a valued member of his team because accidents do not discriminate.
Bobi Wine must understand that he is both a hot commodity and a polarising figure, idolised by some and loathed by others for better or for worse. He is not widely loved by ‘the people’ as he and his fans like to think.
Moreover, some of his enemies may not have time to contest with him politically if they can quickly get him out of the way.
Therefore, he should reinforce his security and stop acting recklessly. Such protection should not focus solely on thwarting baneful people. It should also cover threats like Covid-19 because his lungs have already been through a lot.
Bobi Wine should do this, not for Uganda (Uganda will be fine) but for himself, his wife, children, siblings, friends, and fans.
He owes it to them not to die stupidly.
Mr Kibudde is a sociopolitical thinker
email@example.com Twitter: @kkaboggoza