"Our country was founded on protest. Otherwise, we would still be a colony of England."
- Stan Van Gundy
It appears the shadow of Bobi Wine follows Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni where ever he goes. It is no longer news that the two politicians have become sworn enemies especially after Bobi Wine openly declared that he wants the seat of the president by the next election.
It is easy for sitting African leaders to throw out such threats out of the window and term them baseless but that would be detrimental in this occasion considering the popularity of Bobi Wine especially among the Ugandan people.
President Yoweri Museveni felt the heat of his rival while on a visit to the Kenyatta University, Kenya where he delivered a lecture on the need for Integration in the continent, for it to reach the status of Europe, China, and the United States.
On a good day, this would have made history as one of the great Pan-African lectures delivered by a leader on the continent. But some students at the prestigious African university would not have any of it.
Museveni’s entry to the lecture hall was greeted by chants of “Bobby Wine” from university students before the police intervened.
The president who is used to such heat in the past appeared unruffled as he delivered his speech. But as the event went on, the protests increased and prompted the intervention of the police.
The protesting students made sure that the visit was not one the president would forget in a hurry for the negative reasons as they stood outside the hall chanting pro-Bobi Wine chants while the lecture was going on.
In order for the president to have a safe passage outside the hall, the police had to shoot tear gas canisters at the Kenyatta University students who were bent on disrupting the peace of the event.
During the State visit, President Museveni held a meeting with his host in Mombasa where he also toured the port.
Bobi Wine is a musician turned politician and is currently an MP who continues to criticize Yoweri Museveni's government.Excerpts of the lecture delivered by Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni:
“Africa had also played a critical role in preservation and advancement of religions. Jacob’s brothers, who became the 12 tribes of Israel, survived famine by going to Egypt. Jesus too was hidden in Egypt while Prophet Muhammad was sheltered in Ethiopia.
“But despite these early leaps, Africa in the last 600 years retarded, becoming a victim of the slave trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism, genocides, poverty, and other ills. The question then is, how can we, who were first now the last and how do we stop these from re-occurring?
“The approach to this has been five-fold. First, we had to fight colonialism and get our freedom. It is a largely complete task. This independence meant giving our people a role in choosing leaders and determining how state affairs run. Democracy, therefore, is the second tenet.
“The third issue is that of prosperity. In order for prosperity to occur, we had to offer a clear ideological guide on the rejection of identity ahead of interests. Of what use is your tribe when they cannot purchase what you produce? You need other people to support your prosperity.
“Fourth. Prosperity occurs when you have integration. Seeing how small our markets are, we need to integrate as regions and blocs. It is why we make a case for the EAC. Besides expanding our regional markets, this also helps us when negotiating with 3rd parties like the US & China.
“Economic integration alone is not enough. We must address issues of strategic security, the reason we push for political federations. The experience of prosperous but militarily weak countries like Germany, Poland, France being overrun in the world wars should teach us a lesson.
“The fifth pillar is the social fabric that unites our people. Africa has four broad language groups. The Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, the Afro-Asiatic, and the Khoisan. For East Africa, Kiswahili is a neutral language that we can adopt. There is a lot more to unite than divide us.”
Header Image Credit: George Njunge, Standard