Bobi Wine in Washington Post: There Is a Good News Story in Uganda

Bobi Wine has published an oped in the Washington Post on why young Ugandans will not rest in their demands for freedom. Excerpt below:

When people are allowed to speak, allowed to protest, to organize; when terms are limited and elections are transparent; when the press is free and officials are held accountable, there are no Musevenis. This is why we are seeing increasing censorship — including blackouts of broadcasts by Voice of America, among other heavy-handed attempts to keep Ugandans in the dark.

Ugandans who aren’t letting desperate attempts to silence them succeed. Ugandans who see peaceful transitions of power across the rest of the continent and wonder why they’re forced to live a century behind. Ugandans who read the news and see progress in international headlines and regression in domestic headlines. Ugandans who hear constantly about “Africa’s future,” and wonder whether they’ll be allowed to take part.

Those Ugandans are coordinating both online and in the streets like never before. They are organizing among themselves on social media, becoming amateur investigative journalists, exposing the brutality of the regime, fighting against nightsticks and rifles through tweets and petitions. They are following debates in parliament as they would Premier League matches, and the more their political consciousness develops, the more tenuous Museveni’s grip on power becomes.

It is no coincidence that the government last year banned my song, called “Freedom,” for that is exactly what Museveni sees as his greatest threat. True freedom for Ugandans — access to information, the right to a voice — would spell the end of this government. With every new crackdown, with every journalist arrested, with every protest quashed by gunfire, with every activist tortured, Museveni merely strengthens our resolve. The tides are shifting in Uganda. Indeed, three-quarters of Ugandans have known no president but Museveni; we have the second-youngest population in the world. The country’s youth is rejecting the division that dictator after dictator has used to hold onto power. Provincialism and tribalism are becoming less powerful tools by the day. And the government is patently aware.

Most importantly, the change that Ugandans increasingly demand will be the first in our country’s history to come via the ballot box. Museveni may not have been the first leader to take power by force, but he will be the last.

Read the full article in the Washington Post here.