Ever since he joined Uganda’s political scene in 2017, Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu commonly known as Bobi Wine, has over the time drastically climbed the ranks to become the new face of opposition. His elevation probably pushed away four-time presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye out of elective politics, for the past 20 years Besigye had been regarded as Uganda’s biggest opposition figure.
At the beginning of last year, Bobi Wine’s fame fully absorbed Besigye’s and it’s from this point that in July last year Bobi Wine promised to contest for presidency in 2021 general elections.
His desire to join the presidential race made the public to look at him as the new messiah who had come to lead the opposition into the promised land which prompted some opportunistic politicians to start castigating Dr. Besigye, others looked at him as a barrier to Bobi Wine’s political progress while others advised him not to contest but to rally behind the new face of the opposition.
Although Besigye kept quiet till last month when he said that he will not appear on the ballot paper of 2021 presidential elections, he faced a lot of criticism from fellow opposition politicians and also supporters of the People Power Movement and National Unity Platform (NUP).
All the four times,Besigye contested in presidential elections, his fame was high and agitators of change looked at him as their only Moses to lead them until Bobi Wine showed up. But being a political genius, he did what many people in the opposition and the public wanted to see, he made sure that he remains with one last bullet (Plan B) which may certainly propel him back to his former seat as the leader of the opposition forces.
Based on views of prominent veteran political journalists and analysts in Uganda, after elections Besigye’s ‘plan B’ will collectively leave no political space for the NUP leader Bobi Wine unless he agrees to rally behind the pioneer leader of defiance (Besigye).
According to Yusuf Serunkuma a political researcher at Makerere University, Besigye has already won the 2021 election given the fact he didn’t contest.
“In that single decision not to stand in the 2021 elections, three things happened to the career and public profile of Dr Kiiza Besigye: First, Col. Besigye won in 2021 by simply not standing because the Museveni machinery is structured to allow no winner except him [Museveni], any popular opposition politician candid enough not to stand in this drama – not to be embarrassed or used to legitimize a pre-determined victory, is the real winner. They stand on the right side of history, how i wish Bobi Wine would declare not to stand.
“Second, Col. Besigye completed a switch of roles with Bobi Wine from his now-permanent style of dress, blue checkered shirts, sometimes with the hoodie, Besigye is now more relatable with the ‘wretched of the earth’ than our dark-suited un-dreadlocked Bobi Wine. More seriously, Besigye stands to emerge as the leader of People Power [could be by another name] after Bobi Wine gets more traditionalized and bogged down with NUP,” he said.
Veteran journalist Timothy Kalyegira Nyakahuma also cautioned supporters of the NUP and Bobi Wine not to quickly think that Besigye has delivered the mantle to him because Bobi Wine’s camp is increasingly becoming broken every day by the state machinery.
“ If everything goes how he predicted, and if his plan B is to protest the outcomes of the elections, I’m imagining Bobi Wine not being able to do anything in case Ugandans don’t spontaneously go out to protest on their own and Kizza Besigye will be somewhere vindicated because it’s going to end just like he predicted at that event at Najjanankumbi.
“He will emotionally have prepared his supporters for that outcome and I imagine having everybody in the opposition driving to Kasangati for leadership into that Plan B. It’s at that point that Besigye will once again emerge as the true leader of all opposition forces in this country and nobody will be able to take that away from him because Bobi Wine, who has tagged his hopes on elections whose outcome is known from day one, will be broken and totally clueless,” Kalyegira said.
A Source from within the top committee of the people’s government revealed that Besigye is eying to do what other politicians have failed to do ever since President Yoweri Museveni’s government started tampering with election results.
“After the election, there will be anger and sorrow, and that is what Besigye is going to use by drawing people to pursue his plan B, Ugandans will love him more than before for fore-seeing what will happen in elections and refused not to be used by president Museveni as a sign that Uganda has democracy, that there is opposition and holds elections yet all results are doctored. After elections, Bobi Wine will be frustrated yet it will be the beginning of the new Besigye,” source revealed.