By William Kalema
Following the January 14 presidential elections which saw President Museveni declared winner and National Unity Platform’s Robert Kyagulanyi coming next in second place, the latter ran to court and sought to have the election results annulled.
In his February 1 petition before the Owinyi Dollo – led Supreme Court, Kyagulanyi accused Museveni and the Electoral Commission Chairman Justice Simon Byabakama of organising the most fraudulent election in the country’s history.
HE thus asked that the poll results be quashed and fresh ones be organised where Museveni would not be allowed to participate.
On February 22, in a press conference at his home in Magere, Bobi Wine announced he had decided to pull out of the case, siting unfairness in the Supreme Court. Earlier on, Kyagulanyi had asked Chief Justice Owinyi Dollo and three others on the nine man panel of Justices out of the petition or else he would ran to the court of public opinion for justice.
Kyagulanyi’s court case has been marred with lots of controversies which prompted Chief Justice Alphonse Owinyi – Dollo to lose his calm and tell off Bobi Wine to go ahead with his plans for “Plan B” if at all he went to court whose process he did not trust.
He also insisted he would not be intimidated by anybody while superintending over the court and that stepping out of the cause was out of question.
The withdrawal of the petition sets a precedent in the country’s opposition politics after none of the past petitions against Museveni’s electoral victory saw a bitter ending like this one.
In 2001 and 2006, Besigye, who was the main opposition candidate challenged the results on both occasions only to be defeated in court rulings. John Patrick Amama Mbabazi also challenged the 2016 election results only to be defeated in court.
But for Bobi Wine, he clearly had a bad case against Museveni. It had been reported that by the end of last week, only seven affidavits had been received.
As such such a move already been interpreted as one by the Pop star cum politician to mitigate more humiliation in a case he clearly knew was destined to lose.
With Museveni clearly headed to be sworn in as President for the next five years, the biggest question that will remain in the minds of Ugandans will be on what next for Bobi Wine and his young political movement.
Despite not taking part in this year’s elections, Col Besigye – a four time presidential candidate has showed he is not done with the struggle to take power and such a move could spell doom for Bobi Wine whose suitability for leading a nationwide struggle has already been cast into doubt.
As such, whether or not Bobi Wine remains politically relevant in Uganda’s politics and beyond will greatly depend on how he reacts to this humiliating defeat at the hands of Museveni whom he has over the years described as being too old and weak to continue managing state affairs.
A continuation of lamenting and playing psychological games on his unsuspectingly innocent supporters could result into more alienation from the masses.
Remember, a great part of Bobi Wine’s political support came from downplaying Besigye’s contribution to the struggle by portraying him as a weak leader who has delayed change by holding Museveni with soft gloves.