Bobi Wine is the latest world figure featured in the Financial Times’ “Lunch with the FT” series. Over a shared meal and a stroll through Kamwokya, FT Africa editor David Pilling asks Bobi about his past, his future, his fears, and his aspirations:
In Uganda, the rise of Wine, the “ghetto president”, has severely rattled the real president, Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled for more than three decades and turns 75 this year. Museveni was once a darling of the international community, bringing stability after years of civil war, posing as a new kind of democrat and doing much to halt the spread of Aids. But he gradually ossified into a despot, overseeing a thuggish state in which the space for corruption grew as room for dissent dwindled.
Last August, after an incident in which stones were allegedly thrown at the presidential convoy, Wine was arrested and beaten so severely he could barely walk. His driver was shot and killed in what he believes was an attempt on his own life.
For Museveni, it was a miscalculation. Wine had been transformed from minor irritation to international cause célèbre.