Bobi Wine: Museveni's 37 years of rule have been bad for Ugandan democracy

Robert Kyagulanyi  has accused President Museveni of reigning over the erosion of democratic principles and human rights in Uganda as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) marked 37 years of liberation.

On January 26, Uganda celebrated 37 years  since the armed wing of the NRM captured power from Tito Okello Lutwa government. Museveni was consequently sworn in as president of the republic.

Kyagulanyi, who is also the leader of National Unity Platform (NUP), said Museveni’s regime has used its power to silence dissent and suppress opposition. Those who dare to speak out against it are often met with intimidation, arrest, and even torture.

This, Kyagulanyi said  has led to a chilling effect on free speech and political expression, stifling any meaningful opposition to the government's policies. 

‘Where the NRA promised unity, they practiced tribalism. The critical majority of Ugandans continue to live in poverty and struggle to access basic needs such as healthcare and education. The Museveni regime has also been plagued by corruption and mismanagement,” he said in a statement.

Contrary to the promise of improving the country's security and stability, Kyagulanyi said Uganda under Museveni remains plagued by political instability and human rights abuses, adding that abductions and enforced disappearances have become the order of the day.

Despite Uganda's natural resources and potential for economic growth, the majority of Ugandans continue to live in poverty and lack access to basic services such as education and healthcare, according to the musician turned politician.

This, he largely blamed it to the government's inability to effectively manage the country's resources and address the needs of the people.

“On the other hand, it is also due to the selfishness of Mr Museveni and his family members and friends who want to own and control our natural resources basket. Whereas Museveni claims to have flagged off oil drilling, go to Hoima and locals will tell you the pain and torture they have gone through on account of the oil related activities,” he said.

He said many residents in this area are now without land, while others have lost life or limbs trying to fight for their rights. 

"Mr. Museveni’s regime has proven to be the greatest fraud. They have failed to live up to any of the promises they made when they took power in 1986. Far from using State power for the general benefit of citizens, Mr. Museveni has used it to silence dissent and suppress his opponents, in addition to failing to address the pressing needs of the people,” he claimed.

Despite Museveni’s promises to create jobs and improve the standard of living for Ugandans, Kyagulanyi said the unemployment rate remains high and poverty is widespread. 

Kyagulanyi believes that true liberation can only be achieved when all Ugandans have the freedom to live their lives with dignity and respect.

“The regime's heavy-handed tactics against those who speak out against corruption and human rights abuses must end. It must also take action to address the economic and social inequalities that continue to hold back so many of our people. We must rise to the occasion and respond to the call of duty,” he said.

Speaking during the 37th liberation anniversary in Kakumiro district on Thursday, president Museveni said in these 37 years Uganda managed to attain the low middle income status, adding that the country is heading on the right path.

He even set a new target to be attained by the country’s economy in the coming few years, adding that our economy has grown from a miserable $1.5 billion in 1986, to $48 billion by end of June 2023.

Official data indicates that Uganda’s economy stands at about $45.7billion by the exchange rate method or $131billion by the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) system.

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