Singer Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine has officially declared his intention to contest for a parliamentary position in the upcoming Kyadondo East by-election.
Since April this year, reports have circulated indicating that the music icon was joining politics to “fight for the common man and right the many wrongs” in his constituency.
This came after Court of Appeal upheld High Court’s decision to nullify the election of FDC’s Apollo Kantinti as Kyadondo East Constituency Member of Parliament.
High Court in July 2016 nullified Kantinti’s election due to non-compliance of electoral rules in the Parliamentary Elections Act.
The case reached the Court of Appeal after Kantinti appealed court’s decision to rule in the case where NRM’s William Sitenda Sebalu sued Kantinti, the Electoral Commission, and the Wakiso district returning officer Sarah Bukirwa.
In the suit, Sebalu accused the three defendants of conniving to commit several irregularities, which affected the quality of the election in Kyadondo East in the 2016 general elections in a substantial manner.
The court ordered for fresh elections to be held in the constituency, giving Bobi Wine an opportunity to take the leadership mantle.
On Sunday, Bobi made his intentions clear, finally, on his social media, Facebook page, explaining why he decided to join politics.
Vowing to contest as an independent candidate, Bobi believes his success will inspire the young generation to take over the country’s destiny and follow in the footsteps of opposition leader, Dr. Kizza Besigye, President Yoweri Museveni, Nobert Mao, and Amama Mbabazi, among others.
“Imagine, the youth are the majority of this country and they could take control of Uganda. Imagine a new generation of leaders/politicians that have learned their lessons from those who went before them and can govern Uganda better,” he surmised.
He added: “That is what we are fighting for now: a better future for our democracy. And it is very possible.”
There were also reports that the singer was given a Shs200m bribe to back down which he reportedly rejected.
“If I couldn’t be bought by you know who- to sing Tubonga Nawe praises, then who else can buy me in this country?” he was quoted to have said.
This is Bobi’s full declaration:
Dear friends, my name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert also known as Bobi Wine, the Ghetto President. I am a husband and father, a singer, an activist, a businessman, a student, and most importantly a Ugandan. You have seen me grow up as a ghetto boy, hustling to survive from selling gnuts on the street to performing my music, and you have heard me speak out many times against the injustices that are poisoning our society today.
When I was a young boy, I admired the revolutionary President Museveni, especially his work between 1986 and 1996, but when I started seeing wrongs,I began thinking for myself.
You have seen me criticize our government more and more over time, not because I completely disregard it, but because I think we deserve and can get better. I have been inspired by the likes of Elias Lukwago,Norbert Mao, Betty Nambooze and Dr. Kizza Besigye for their stand on issues like inequality and corruption.
I have also been inspired by so many great minds here in Kyadondo East and across the nation who may not be famous, but their ideas can change our Uganda for the better.
We have been frustrated by a politics that is controlled by a handful of people and has shut us all out, that made us settle for hospitals that have no medicine and classrooms packed with students when the teachers are absent. But our children are all worthy of a descent education, and we all have the right to life saving health care!
Some may feel that politics has nothing to do with our day to day lives, but when our economy is failing there are no jobs, and we are turned into beggars just to feed our children. You can see how decisions made by politicians are strangling the life out of the people. 327 children under the age of five are DYING EVERY DAY in Uganda from poverty and disease. This is not right.
We all want the best for our children, and Uganda must get serious about investing in our youth, because our future is at stake. The poor state of our schools, our hospitals, our roads, can all be traced back to the skewed priorities of our politicians, and this must change. Just last year we had an election, but we chose leaders who care more about their allowances than the people they were elected to serve.
It is time for a new generation of leaders to step up and take the responsibility of cleaning up our politics.
It is for this reason that I am offering myself now as a servant of the people. Let it not be a rumour anymore. I am standing for Member of Parliament as an independent candidate.
I offer myself as a leader – a leader, not a politician. “Politician” has become a dirty word here in Uganda, and I know that by running for public office, I risk tarnishing my own name, but this is how my leadership journey has evolved. I have spoken out many times about the need for youth to step up, and now here I am stepping up to take responsibility for the community where I live.
This campaign is not about me needing a job; I have many jobs already. This campaign is about the demands of Ugandans right here in Kyadondo East; it is about what we can do together.
I have said this before to my die-hard fans and let me say it here again straight: we are going to run a POSITIVE CAMPAIGN. I do not condone any abuse of my running mates. This by-election will be highly contested, but we should focus on the issues at stake, not slinging mud at each other. We are here not to destroy each other, but to build a better future for our people. Beneath all our differences, we are one family. We are Ugandans.
I believe that we must to come together, and I offer myself as an independent mind and a friend to everyone. One of our biggest problems in Uganda is that we have always been divided into sects of religion, tribe, region, class and even political parties, which are supposed to be a solution but have also caused more problems as politicians seem more interested in fighting with each other than working together to develop the country.
As Dr. Ben Carson said, we have been conditioned to believe that politicians are the solution to our problems, but one day we shall wake up to realize that they are the cause of them!
We all know the problems we have today. Families are working as hard as they can but are still failing to make rent payments and pay school fees. So many people are out of work, turning to drinking and gambling. Corrupt officials are buying luxury cars that soon break down on our terrible roads.
Our education system is not preparing our youth for employment and that partially explains why most of our youth are not only unemployed but also Unemployable. Our cancer ward at Mulago still waits for a radiotherapy machine as people die. Our government is acting with impunity- it doesn’t care and never will unless we get better leaders to turn the tide before it is too late.
To the voters in Kyadondo East, I promise you this:
– I will represent a new generation of Ugandan leadership that serves with integrity and works hard to get things done.
– I will continue to gather community meetings and listen to the priorities of constituents, and bring these priorities to government.
– I will focus on building a better future for Uganda, which means standing up against bad governance and corruption, and concentrating on the needs of the youth.
– I will apply my academic background to educate myself about laws and policies, and I will share this information with my constituents in a way that is easy to understand and entertaining.
– I will use social media to share my experiences in parliament and I will strive to get Ugandans more engaged in politics and leadership in a fun and productive way.
– I will make decisions based not on affiliations but on facts, and I will honour the demands of my constituents no matter their religion, tribe, or political party. Whether rich or poor, every voice will matter, and the best ideas will win.
– I will work with anyone who has the ability and the heart to create positive change for our people, regardless of who they are or where they come from. I will act as a unifier, bringing people together to get our priorities straight and really implement the change we know we need in this country.
This is my solemn pledge to you. For God and my Country.
KYAGULANYI SSENTAMU-BOBI WINE
MP to be KYADONDO EAST CONSTITUENCY