Prominent Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine has launched a new political party ahead of the 20121 presidential polls.
Wine, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, announced the news via a lengthy post on his official Facebook page.
“Today, we gather here for yet another important step in our liberation struggle,” he writes. “When we started the People Power Movement about three years ago, we had lengthy discussions about whether or not to register a political party. Our analysis led us to the conclusion that it was both untimely and impractical to form a political party. In any case, we were alive to the fact that the regime would foil any attempt to register People Power as a political party.
“Therefore, today I stand here to announce to the nation that we are unveiling the National Unity Platform as the political wing of the People Power Movement. The National Unity Platform is a political organisation duly registered with the Electoral Commission and our symbol is an umbrella.”
The beloved activist has faced constant harassment from the ruling party — as have many of his loyal supporters.
In September 2018, the government banned gatherings of Kyagulanyi’s supporters, limiting rallies and concerts ahead of any planned elections. The restrictions making it almost impossible for him to carry out a steadfast campaign. August that same year, Kyagulanyi was forced to travel to the United States on bail to seek medical treatment for injuries he said he sustained in military custody following his arrest at the beginning of that month.
On February 24, Ugandan journalist and filmmaker Moses Bwayo was arrested for filming a documentary about the former reggae singer-turned politician. Bwayo was charged with unlawful assembly before being released on bail.
Speaking to CNN, Kyagulanyi’s lawyer Erias Lukwago alleged that his client had been tortured for the duration of his detainment.
“He could not stand because his leg had been injured. He was being carried by soldiers at the military court where he has been arraigned when I saw him. He complained of pain in his spine, and we could see he has really been beaten,” Lukwago said at the time.
The opposition leader’s statement makes it clear that he is cognizant of the herculean battle ahead but vows to fight on in the name of liberation.
“Finally, let me reiterate that what we are launching today is largely a symbol and a political platform that will usher us into the 2021 election. Akabobero umbrella. But we shall continue to do activities as the People Power Movement,” he asserts. “Friends, this is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history, liberation strugglists have often found themselves having to run their course with a political wing and an activist or military wing. The ANC is a political party in South Africa, but circumstances demanded that they form an armed wing called uMkhonto we Sizwe. The examples are so many.”