Kampala, Uganda (PANA) – Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has since Saturday been walking through some of the areas where he waged the war which brought him to power in 1986.
He aims to cover 195 km in the week-long trek, and he takes breaks to mix with locals and hand them cash in envelopes.
As Museveni set off to walk, his newest challenger for the top office, Robert Kyagulanyi, a pop star whose stage name is Bobi Wine, readied himself to kick off countrywide consultations over his proposed bid for the presidency.
The electoral law allows an intending candidate to start such consultations one year to nominations, and nominations for the presidential election, which are expected to take place in January 2021, are slated for September this year.
But Bobi Wine’s consultations, which were to kick off Monday failed, with the pop star and his colleagues arrested in the morning before they arrived at the venue.
He was detained through Monday until late in the night when he was released to return to home, and was again foiled Tuesday as he attempted to travel to the northern part of the country where he had planned to carry out his consultations.
For Monday, the police said that Bobi Wine was blocked because he had organised the consultations to take place in an open field yet they can only happen in a closed place since it is not a campaign rally.
For Tuesday, Bobi Wine had booked a hotel in the northern Uganda town of Gulu, and therefore the consultations were to take place in a close off hall. But the police again foiled him, but they have not yet explained the reason.
Bobi Wine, who has been an active politician for about three years, is moving in the footsteps of those who challenged Museveni before him.
The most notable among them is Kizza Besigye, Museveni’s former physician during the guerilla war that brought Museveni to power but has since challenged his former boss on four occasions. His meetings are routinely broken up.
On the other hand, Museveni campaigns uninterrupted throughout the five-year term. He asked for and got supplementary funding mid last year to move all over the country on what he called a poverty eradication drive, which was heavily dotted with his politics.
He has held several public engagements since then to add to the current walk, during which he conducts mini rallies, dishes out cash and makes promises. He is accompanied on the walk by hundreds of supporters.
-0- PANA EM/AR 7Jan2020