Kyaddondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) recently spoke with the global German news outlet Deutsche Welle about the events in Arua and Uganda’s political awakening. In this interview, he recounted the acts of torture and brutality that he and numerous others suffered at the hands of Museveni’s thugs, as well as what the people power revolution means for the future of the country. An excerpt of the interview is below:
DW: What is the People Power Revolution and what does it mean to Uganda?
Bobi Wine: The People Power Revolution is an initiative that seeks, first and foremost, to unite all change-seeking forces in Uganda. After that we can proceed and change our country. It is a belief in the sovereignty of the people, as indeed provided for in our constitution, right at the beginning, that all power belongs to the people. So we are reminding people of their power, of their God-given rights, but most importantly, of their ability to make use of that power they have.
How are you going to make people actually believe it?
Well, we started by opening peoples’ eyes to the realities around them, about how they are being oppressed, how their illusion of freedom has to be unmasked so that they realize they are actually answerable to the leaders and yet it is supposed to be the other way around. People didn’t know about the blaring injustices that are ongoingin Uganda, but right now they are all being exposed.
Why are your public appearances attracting heavy security deployment?
(laughs) You see, I’m just a musician. But at the same time, I’m a messenger of the people. So those people you see coming together around, that’s not about me, it’s because they see their voice reflected in me.
Is the regime afraid of you?
Even if they were, I would rather they were not afraid of me, but afraid of the excesses they still use. They shouldn’t be afraid of me, because this is not about me. This is about all of us.
You and your associates were arrested and your driver was killed. Doesn’t this scare you and the people around you?
Of course it scares me. Of course everybody wants to live peacefully and undisturbed. But when I think about the 32 years of oppression that we have already undergone then there is nothing to fear any more. We either decide to gain our freedom, or we will be slaves forever. So the fear does not compare to the zeal.
What is your vision for Uganda’s future?
As a person I want to live in a free Uganda. But as an ideology, we are people who want to feel that we matter in our country. We want to live in a country where all of us are equal and all of us have the same opportunities. No matter your tribe, no matter who knows you, no matter which family you come from, that is the Uganda that we want: a country where you can talk about everything without being beaten. Where, even if you are a boda boda rider (motorcycle taxi), if you have all the requirements, you don’t get arrested because somebody wants to extort money from you. That’s the country we want, a country where citizens can feel safe. It is a wide vision for Uganda, but most importantly we want to have the freedom to imagine it, because it seems that now we are not allowed to.