Olara Otunnu on Bobi Wine: he is a positive development but with no track record

Canary Mugume

Canary Mugume

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The recent wave of People Power movement that swayed a vote of four by-elections; Kyadondo, Jinja, Bugiri and Arua has indeed played out as a new force in the politics of Uganda. Bobi Wine being at the centre stage; the wave has positioned him as a new opposition politician carrying most hopes of young people in the country.

The politics of Uganda can be predicted by studying the past events that have shaped the political scene that has birthed politicians like Museveni, Besigye or Muntu. Olara Otunnu, an opposition politician who has contested for presidency before, is in position to put things into perspective.



Otunnu believes Bobi Wine is a positive development in the politics of our country. “Just that I do not know what is in his heart and mind. I do not know what he stands for,” Otunnu told the Nile Post.

Bobi Wine has come under fire to explain values he stands for as a leader especially to define what the intentions behind people power are, however Otunnu argues that regardless of what he stands for, Bobi Wine needs to be part of the dialogue intended to address the country’s problems.



While not many predicted the rise of People Power before Arua elections, Otunnu believes the positioning of People Power will be crucial in producing a chance, or a basket of events that we all can’t predict. “This will turn out in two ways, either change will be produced before 2021 or after 2021,” Otunnu argued.

He added that what will happen with Bobi Wine can’t be predicted and that the rise of Bobi Wine and people power is a good example.

“Had Museveni predicted what had happened after Arua he would not have done what he did,” Otunnu said referring to the events in Arua that made Bobi Wine more popular politically than he was.



Many analysts have argued that Bobi Wine represents a new breed of young leaders in Africa. The case in Uganda is not so unique because it is common in other African countries. The idea of revolutionary leaders sticking to leadership until they are either ousted or die.

Otunnu argued that the image of the Bush War leaders is completely entrenched and that the narrative of the bush war revolutionaries has been repeated for 30 years, and young people in Uganda are frustrated over the same.

“Part of the difficulties we have now in Uganda have generated from the bush war narrative and that is why I am not surprised about the rise of People Power,” Otunnu analyzed.



Otunnu thinks that even though the issue of generational change is important , it is just not sufficient. But do young people bring on board a new narrative?

Otunnu sips on his tea as he poses for about 5 seconds before he answers the question.

In his response, Otunnu downplays what Museveni has done in the last 3 decades. “Museveni was at some point also young, but what did he bring to us?” Otunnu asked.

Otunnu argued that it is important to interrogate and ask Bobi Wine what his policy alternatives are. What he represents.

“Shall we repeat the same mistakes?” Otunnu wondered.

“They owe it to the country to explain what their values are.” Otunnu added.



The new political wave of people has positioned Bobi Wine as new opposition leader capable enough to stand for presidency against long standing President Yoweri Museveni who has ruled Uganda for 3 decades.

Otunnu is however analayzes that Bobi Wine has a new track record and yet it is important to have a history people can benchmark on, and indeed these are more reasons why Bobi Wine’s values and he stands for should be interrogated.

“He too must have been surprised what happened to him and his political career after Arua incidents.” Otunnu exclaimed.

Otunnu advises Bobi Wine to begin shaping his ideas and framework.

“Museveni had a terrible track record just that he was so lucky it wasn’t known inside here,” Otunnu said.

Bobi Wine has been singing since the late 90’s and Otunnu thinks that apart from this music career, it is difficult to know which way Bobi Wine wants to take and how that will turn out.

Olara Otunnu has been out of the country for some time since the 2016 Presidential elections, but he has now returned at his home to spearhead to national dialogue in which president Museveni has allowed to participate in.


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