Kyaddondo East lawmaker, Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, has reiterated his commitment to stand for President in the 2021 elections, Chimp Corps report.
“I have said it before and I will say it again, that on behalf of the millions of oppressed and exploited people, I will be challenging Museveni in an election that is envisaged by the law,” said Bobi during a press briefing this Monday.
The statement comes just a week after Bobi, who heads the People Power Movement, and Dr Kizza Besigye of the People’s Government, stepped up preparations to form an opposition coalition that would push President Museveni from power in the 2021 polls.
Several FDC party members have frowned on the idea of Besigye supporting a Bobi presidential bid, saying the lawmaker lacks the grassroots structures to secure an electoral victory against the incumbent.
However, People Power activists including Dr Stella Nyanzi, have urged Besigye, to pave way for Bobi, saying he brings youthful energy to Uganda’s opposition camp which would easily sweep the ruling party from power.
Previous attempts by Ugandan opposition groups to form an alliance failed to bear fruit due to disagreements on the choice of a joint presidential candidate.
In 2015, former premier Amama Mbabazi and Dr Kizza Besigye did not agree on a joint candidate to represent the Democratic Alliance (TDA) in the presidential polls, leading to the collapse of the union.
Last week, Bobi and Besigye started a joint campaign dubbed “No, Nedda” to pressurize government to respond better to the Covid19 pandemic in the country.
Bobi Wine said the campaign was yet another step towards more cooperation with the People’s Government.
“Many people have been asking us why we have not formed a collation yet. But talks have been taking place before, well aware that there is no other way of salvaging our country besides working together. It is fortunate that today we are taking another step to show you what should be done,” he said.
On his part, Dr Besigye thanked Bobi Wine and the People Power group for their “patience and commitment toward the liberation of the country.”
“This has made it possible for both us to come together. This is a wonderful, wonderful moment for our country that we can unite and tell the country to unite and say enough is enough,” said Besigye.
Meanwhile, Bobi today opposed the idea of holding a ‘scientific election’ whereby candidates will only campaign on radios and televisions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“…there is nothing like a scientific election. For us, we are going for a real election because a scientific election is not an election. The promise of our Constitution is a free and fair election,” said Bobi.
“A free and fair election means that every person who has a right to vote can go and express his or her will voluntary, without being influenced by money and intimidation. It means that all candidates are given equal opportunities to convey their message to the voters so that voters can make an informed choice,” he emphasised.
The Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Simon Byamukama last week said the COVID-19 pandemic could not allow them hold normal electoral process.
“Given the Covid-19 pandemic, and health risks involved and the expectations during the electoral activities, preparations and conduct of these elections will take different modes,” said Byamukama, adding, “Mass rallies will not be allowed but campaigns will be conducted mainly through media.”
However, Bobi alleged, without providing evidence, that Museveni recently met with the Electoral Commission and gave them orders to organize what he called a scientific election.
“Using the coronavirus as an excuse, he is banning public rallies and other aspects of an election as we know them,” said Bobi.
“No Ugandan should be fooled into believing that Museveni is doing this for the safety of Ugandans. As we speak now, most urban places are filled with people going about their usual business uninterrupted. No social distancing, no nothing. If anyone has any doubts, please visit Kikuubo, or any other urban place. Therefore Museveni and the Electoral Commission should not take Ugandans for fools.”
On his part, Byabakama said the Commission conducted a risk analysis, the implications of holding an election and instituted mitigation measures in line with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
“We have also considered the need to preserve the health of the Citizens vis a vis their constitutional and democratic right to elect leaders of their choice as guaranteed under the Constitution, and come up with a plan that ensures minimal person-to-person contact during the implementation of the electoral process,” said Byabakama.
The Ministry of Health on Monday confirmed 4 new COVID-19 cases in Uganda, bringing to 774 the total number of the infections in the country.