Mr Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu aka Bobi Wine weeks ago unveiled coordinators for his People Power Movement across all regions of the country and in the Diaspora ahead of the 2021 presidential elections. Mixed reactions went viral over his selection of coordinators.
Watchdog’s representive in Europe Abbey Boris Mugerwa spoke to a number of Ugandans in Europea to pick their thoughts on Bobi Wine’s move and the state of politics in Uganda ahead of 2021 general elections.
Mr Patrick Muwawu, a former Radio presenter with Dembe FM in Uganda and a journalist currently based in Göterborg Sweden said that Bobi Wine’s selection was fair and well balanced team of coordinators.
“He involved all age groups but I should all caution Bobi that some of the mobilizers who were picked are aiming for survival of their seats in 2021 but as long as they also deliver support for Bobi Wine, that will be good too. He also tried to clear the image of People Power movement which had got a bad image before some Ugandans for poor representation by some of its frustrated supporters online, who are also unruly and abusive,” Patrick asserted.
He added that “about the Diaspora list, the people who are named are not known so I don’t know much about what Bobi Wine will achieve from them and the fact people in the diaspora are so busy working and engaged into other chores it gives the team a complex task to engage us in the struggle but in the-nutshell Bobi Wine has set a precedent for people to believe in themselves via politics.”
Mr Moses Luke Ssajjabi, a musician based in the United Kingdom but mostly known as MC Moseh said Bobi Wine did what any leader can do, it’s how to execute his plan and this probably sees him not as an individual. People Power unites many people and Bobi Wine has no capability to differentiate his support but to unite it in all parts of the country to achieve his dream.
“I also think that some of the regional leaders he picked may forget Bobi Wine’s strategies and rather capitalize to retain their seats in 2021 so he should take that caution. Nevertheless he left out some of his online voluntary mobilizers who had hope to be mentioned for working hard in branding People Power.
Ssajjabi adds that “Bobi Wine needs to focus on building a solid movement and also advise his supporters to stop being abusive and bear criticisms from others who don’t support their cause.”
For renown blogger Henry Ndugwa aka Kakensa based in Finland advised Bobi Wine to stay focused on mobilization and maintain the support of the people. Kakensa however refuted speculations that he was approached and refused to be on the list of those in the diaspora.
“I was not approached by anybody to include my name on the list. Yes, I support change but I want to remain independent so that I can give my opinions on issues at hand and Bobi Wine knows that. I want an active opposition to put pressure to change Uganda, that’s why I agree with the opposition.”
Kakensa also stressed that Bobi Wine and his team have a big job to convince people to participate in the struggle and argued the diaspora team to work hard to engage the Ugandans in the diaspora to fully engage in Uganda’s politics because they contribute a lot to the country’s economy.
Mr Gerald Kiwewa, a former radio news anchor now living in Stockholm Sweden welcomed the selection as a great and serious move but argued Bobi Wine to go on ground.
“He should broaden his operations from district to village level through holding consultative talks with people on the ground and set mechanisms like assigning those who will be in charge of following his votes and to protect them at all levels.
Brussels based social media blogger and human rights activist Seruga Titus noted, that “definitely the list was missing big names in the diaspora that can make a difference, if you are looking at diaspora then you consider people who hold responsibilities in Diaspora every country has a community and people who move these communities closer. These are the people he should have picked as coordinators in diaspora. He came up with a list of unknown people who don’t hold any office or form of respect with communities.
“For the list in Uganda, I can say he tried his best to pick people who he believes can serve his purpose, what should be the case now is what do coordinators bring on table, I want to pick you from the Eastern region well knowing that you have support and can at least bring me 200,000 voters.
Seruga adds that, “It’s not a matter of having names on the list, Bobi’s target should be those that already have votes but the system has left out. There is no name I can say shouldn’t be on the list but I feel many missed on the list. A good leader should have the ability to win over people from the opposite side, if this happened then good but if he failed at this then we have a problem.” He added.
Mr Robert Kakande Musoke, a political analyst based in Sala Sweden said he was impressed with the developments in People Power but appealed for continuous efforts to make the movement work.
Having gathered various opinions and thoughts, Ugandans in the diaspora remain actively involved in the country’s politics through following and interacting in many mediums which air issues at hand in the country.
Many have invested back in Uganda, set up businesses, built homes and commercial properties and most importantly have families still living in Uganda and that’s why Uganda’s political situation still remain a very important issue to many.