Ugandans go to the polls today to elect a new president. Can a charismatic young musician end three and a half decades of rule by a strongman? Freelance reporter Samuel Okiror has been following Bobi Wine’s campaign to defeat Yoweri Museveni
In Uganda, the 38-year-old musician turned politician Bobi Wine – his real name is Robert Kyagulanyi – is seeking the presidency. Wine hopes to oust Yoweri Museveni, 76, who has been in office since 1986. Museveni, who took power after the fall of the dictator Idi Amin, is known for bringing stability to the region and for helping manage the HIV crisis. But he also has a long history of using violence against his political opponents, and Wine is no exception. Over the course of his campaign, Wine has been beaten and repeatedly detained; in November, his bodyguard was killed in an attack on his vehicle.
The freelance reporter Samuel Okiror explains why the country’s youth are rallying behind Wine, and assesses whether the challenger has a real chance of taking office.