Deutsche Welle reports on Bobi Wine’s arrest and detention in Luzira prison, and what Museveni’s escalating persecution of the young parliamentarian could mean:
Bobi Wine’s growing popularity at home and abroad is increasingly a source of irritation to the regime. Wine has called on the youth to take over leadership in Uganda and in an interview with DW in early April he spoke of his intention to run for the presidency in 2021. Incumbent Museveni, 74, can now seek reelection in 2021 after parliament passed a clause in the constitution that had previously prevented people aged over 75 from holding the office of president.
Jeffrey Smith, executive director of Vanguard Africa, told DW: “In the eyes of President Museveni and the security apparatus around him, I think they rightly view Bobi Wine as a threat to their power and legitimacy. He’s resonating particularly with Uganda’s majority youth population.” Vanguard is a nonprofit organization that partners with African leaders and democracy activists to consolidate democratic gains and advocate for free and fair elections in Africa.
It is Wine’s ‘notoriety’ which is the main reason he is still alive today, Smith said. “Congressmen and senators [in the US] and global leaders are talking about him online and in public spaces and are generating interest internationally about his plight.”
The majority of followers on DW Africa’s Facebook page support Bobi Wine and say they hope he will emerge from prison unscathed. Comments include: “Free Bobi Wine and down with all African dictators.” “This is Uganda. Anything can happen, but we believe we are strong and we shall overcome.” ” His incarceration will bring down dictator Museveni.”