In that single decision not to stand in the 2021 elections, three things happened to the career and public profile of Dr Kiiza Besigye: First, Col. Besigye won 2021 by simply not standing. Because the Museveni machinery is structured to allow no winner except him [Museveni], any popular opposition politician candid enough not to stand in this drama – not to be embarrassed or used to legitimise a predetermined victory – is the real winners. They stand on the right side of history. How I wish BW would declare not to stand.
Second, Col. Besigye completed a switch of roles with Bobi Wine: From his now-permanent style of dress, blue checkered shirts, sometimes with hoodie, Besigye is now more relatable with the ‘wretched of the earth’ than our dark-suited un-dreadlocked Bobi Wine. More seriously, KB stands to emerge as the leader of PP [could be by another name] after BW gets more traditionalized and bogged down with NUP.
Third, Besigye has fully repackaged himself as the new true statesman. See, we know that majority of politicians in the opposition are standing simply for own bread and butter.
We believed standing was Besigye’s hustle, too. But now that he has offered not to be cheapened by standing in these heedless elections, he can successfully claim the label of a statesmen. He demonstrated not being obsessed with getting elected president, but rather simply challenging the status-quo. It should have come earlier, but is material for celebration even now.
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