Writing in Quartz Africa, South African journalist Lynsey Chutel looks at Bobi Wine’s recent arrest and what it means that even the full power of the state cannot quash the singer and parliamentarian’s youth movement:
When a politician is a musician, concerts are de facto rallies, even when they’re cancelled.
This is something Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni has failed to understand when it comes to his most popular political opponent, Robert Kyagulanyi, known by his stage name Bobi Wine.
In a statement from his home, Wine vowed to peacefully stand up to the government’s repressive tactics. On Tuesday, police still parked outside of Wine’s home in Kampala informed the lawmaker that he was under house arrest. By detaining Wine again, Museveni’s government is unwittingly amplifying his position as a man of the people.
As young people rile against a system that has failed to provide jobs, Uganda’s court. scrapped presidential age limits capped at 75, allowing the 74-year-old Museveni to run for another term in 2021. Museveni has been ruled Uganda for over three decades, in a country where the median age is 15.
The last time Wine was detained, his profile grew beyond Uganda with the hashtag #FreeBobiWine, that even drew in Uganda’s diaspora. This time, steely and resolute from his house arrest, Wine has learned to use Museveni’s own tactics against him.