On Why Bobi Wine is the 'Person of the Year'

On April 26 this year, while appearing on a local TV station, Bobi Wine publicly expressed his interest in contesting for the Kyaddondo East seat that was vacant at the time following nullification of Apollo Kantinti’s election in the previous general elections. After a lot of rumors about which party will front him as their candidate, Bobi Wine decided to go independent and accompanied with his wife and others, he was officially nominated by the Electoral Commission on 31st May. Dr. Kizza Besigye being a resident of Kasangati which is found in Kyaddondo East, it was considered as FDC stronghold and many thought Apollo was headed for a win.

After the nomination, Bobi Wine held a rally to celebrate his nomination and the crowd that attended drove the other parties into panic mode. In other words, they were caught off guard. However, some circles maintained that the crowd just wanted to see Bobi and fellow artists that accompanied him for free hence the crowd.

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Bobi Wine with wife Barbie after the nomination exercise. (Photo: The New Vision)

As time went by, June 27th came, the day for closing campaigns. It was a rare occasion as three ‘presidents’ that is President Museveni (Uganda), Kizza Besigye (‘People’s President’) and Bobi Wine (‘Ghetto President’) were to appear on the same day in the same area. Following some confusion about the venues between NRM’s Ssebalu Sitenda and Bobi Wine, he was arrested (Bobi) and taken to KIra Division Police Station. According to observers, this was one huge mistake done by the police as this is believed to have earned him sympathy and as a result increased his popularity and support.

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Bobi Wine being arrested on the closing day of the campaigns. (Photo by Daily Monitor)

D-day came on June 29th as it was the day for the elections. Voters came early and started casting their votes. Even if there were some incidents of violence or disruptions, the situation remained calm amid heavy deployment by the police, army and military police. This was due to the fear that Bobi’s supporters (highly youths) could cause chaos. Many voters remained by the roadside chanting ‘ssaawa, ssaawa’ (meaning Clock, the sign he used) after casting their votes to make sure that no one rigs. There is one that surprised everyone. Because of his background and history, many people expected the campaigns to be characterized by violence but instead it was the opposite.

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Deployment on the Election Day. (Photo: Uganda Today)

 

By the time vote counting started, some of his supporters were already rejoicing. It was quite obvious that they (the other candidates) couldn’t close the range at which he was beating them. At around 9:40, the returning officer Mr. Francis Nkurunziza declared Bobi the rightful winner of the race after gunning 25,659 votes (a percentage of 77%) compared to the first runner up NRM’s Sitenda Sebalu who got 4,556 votes (a percentage of 13.8%). In a rare occurrence, his competitors immediately accepted defeat. Even top political party officials as well as president Museveni took time off to congratulate him. His victory gave and restored hope in many people’s lives that anything can change or happen if you are determined.

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Talking to Media personalities moments after being declared a winner. (Photo: The New Vision)

On June 11th, clad in a grey suit, sun glasses and with his trademark move, he was flanked by other MPs inside the chambers for his swearing in. As soon as he set his foot in the parliament, the fellow members irrespective of NRM or opposition or Independent could not hide their excitement. After swearing in, he descended to the sitting area where everyone wanted him to sit on their side.  Watch Video Here

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Swearing in at Parliament. (Photo: Uganda Radio Network)

The events that have unfolded after his swearing in are as long as the ones below. From banning his shows (Kamuli and Kasese), songs (Freedom), and radio/TV talk shows, the grenades that were thrown in his home, the Entebbe incident where a break down driver refused to tow down his car after realizing it was him, the parliamentary fights, the presidential letters and responses, interviews with Al-Jazeera, returning of the Age Limit money, the donation of hospital beds among others to his constituency, motivational speeches, among others all make him our “PERSON OF THE YEAR”.