Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has skipped a number of obstacles on his path to November 03 nomination as presidential candidate.
Rising from the ghetto to become a music star and later an MP, Bobi Wine’s nomination for the country’s top seat will be a huge step.
Bobi Wine’s political journey officially started in the 2017 when he won the Kyadondo East by-election. Since then, controversies have worked to catapult him to the national political stage.
In the following report, we look at the five hurdles Bobi Wine has jumped on his political journey so far.
ARUA 2018 CLASH
The 2018 Arua Municipality by-election to replace slain MP Ibrahim Abiriga was a defining moment in Bobi Wine’s life and political journey.
He chose to campaign for former Terego MP Kassiano Wadri, who eventually won.
But a clash between supporters of President Yoweri Museveni, who was in Arua to campaign for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidate, and supporters of Wadri turned the municipality into a war zone.
In a crackdown which the elite Special Forces Command (SFC) soldiers led after Bobi’s and Wadri’s supporters reportedly pelted stones at the presidential motorcade, Bobi Wine’s driver Yasin Kawuma was killed in the MP’s car.
Bobi Wine sustained injuries, and flew out of the country – both for treatment and to capitalize on the Arua incident to position himself as an emerging Museveni opponent suffering the wrath of the regime.
To date, his supporters believe he could have died had he been in the car Kawuma was shot in.
He also faced charges of treason over the fracas.
That was the first hurdle he jumped post the Kyadondo East by-election.
Bobi Wine’s dream to stand for president would also hang in balance after perennial litigant Hassan Male Mabirizi accused him of lying about his age and question his academic papers.
The Electoral Commission (EC) released the singer-turned-politician’s academic papers showing that he qualified for a diploma.
The MP also offered an explanation of the disparities in his age, and detailed his education journey.
With the matter put to rest, Bobi Wine’s camp have for weeks been pushing the EC to release the president’s academic papers.
As Bobi Wine faced Mabirizi’s stinging attacks on his education and age, a legal battle for the soul of the National Unity Platform (NUP) raged on.
A court case challenging the manner in which Moses Nkonge Kibalama had transferred the leadership of NUP to Bobi Wine, and how the party’s name was changed to NUP, created an atmosphere of uncertainty.
As Bobi Wine, NUP and People Power supporters awaited Justice Musa Sekaana’s ruling, Kibalama dropped a bombshell.
In a video recorded in the night, Kibalama claimed Bobi Wine had defaulted on Shs18bn ($5m) he had reportedly promised to reward him with for helping him acquire a political party.
Bobi Wine denied these claims.
But weeks later, Justice Sekaana’s judgement offered a sigh of relief into the Kamwokya-based political camp.
“This application [challenging NUP’s acquisition] was made with a view of making some money during the election season and the applicants have no genuine grievance but rather want to be relevant and make some quick cash,” Sekaana ruled.
“The court is empowered to refuse relief and deny access to the judicial review reliefs on the ground of laches because of several considerations, for example, it is not desirable to allow stale claims to be canvassed before the court; there should be finality to ligation.”
Days before NUP could officially submit supporter signatures for its candidate Bobi Wine to the EC, the party claimed that security agencies had taken away with the files containing the signatures in a raid on their Kamwokya office.
But security agencies denied confiscating the files containing the signatures in their raid.
According to Section 10(b) of the Presidential Elections Act, a presidential candidate’s nomination shall be supported by not less than 100 persons who are registered voters from two thirds of all the districts of Uganda.
That means that candidates need to present signatures from valid voters from 98 districts.
Bobi Wine’s camp would later gather over 30,000 signatures and submit the same to the EC.
NUP then had to wait for the EC to officially verify its candidate’s supporter forms. News of the verification, which some, perhaps, never expected, made national headlines.
Bobi Wine’s nomination as a presidential candidate is scheduled for November 03. After that campaigning will officially start. Nomination will be likely be the end of the first round of hurdles: more lie ahead in the campaign time, polling day and post-election period.