By Our Correspondent in Kampala, Uganda
Ugandan youths have given President Yoweri Museveni’s 31 year rule a bloody nose after they declined monetary offers to give a landslide victory to an independent candidate that once boasted about leading a marijuana-smoking gang in the country’s capital, Kampala during a parliamentary by-election held last Friday.
Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert, a popular Ugandan musician who goes by the nickname ‘Bobi Wine’ said during the campaign that won him the seat that he had turned down an ‘offer of billions of shillings’ from the ruling party to remove himself from the contest. Museveni has frequently used money to entice his impoverished countrymen as well as the country’s legislative assembly, to side with him in changing the constitution to remove term limits and to vote for him during presidential elections to enable him stay in power.
Standing as an independent candidate in a by-election called after Apollo Kantinti, a Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate who had won the seat during last year’s general election lost it after the NRM candidate, William Sitenda Sebalu challenged Kantinti’s election and the Court of Appeal ruled in his favour. Both Kantinti and Sebalu lost heavily with Bobi Wine winning more than five times as many votes as his opponents added altogether. The musician-turned politician’s move depended heavily on the growing strength of the Ugandan youth, most of whom were born well after Museveni and his NRM came to power more than 31 years ago. To them, they have only ever known one Ugandan leader and given their support for Bobi Wine, it doesn’t seem they are very much impressed with what they’ve seen so far.