UGANDA: Bobi and Besigye’s supporters engage on social media rants over opposition political space

Ugandan opposition leaders battle verbally on social media over opposition control [Image: courtesy]
Uganda—Former four-time presidential candidate Col (Rtd) Dr. Kizza Besigye has asked National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine to make a public statement to cease fire on the new People’s front for Transformation (PFT).

“I called Kyagulanyi and he said he regrets the ongoing attacks on this front. Some people have been asking me why he didn’t make that publicly and I don’t know why but I leave that to him,” Dr. Besigye told journalists at their first address to the media yesterday.

The formation of Dr. Besigye’s new pressure group which is composed of six political parties has birthed a verbal war with supporters of Bobi Wine’s NUP who indicate that PFT is out to fight against leaders of opposition in parliament.

At the peak of the war on social media last week, Mr. Patrick Oboi Amuriat, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party present, who is also one of the principals of PFT, tweeted indicating that they had no obligation to ask for permission from the leading opposition in parliament before they form political groups.

“Leading opposition in parliament does not have to lead any struggle against the dictator if they don’t wish, we are not prepared or have no capacity to. Mandela led the struggle against apartheid in South Africa from outside parliament. FDC doesn’t need anybody’s permission to struggle,” Mr. Amuriat tweeted.

This is not the first time such an outburst is happening between Dr Besigye and Bobi Wine’s entities.

In 2019, following the formation of Bobi Wine’s People pressure group, supporters of Dr. Besigye were engaged in a verbal fight on social media with the group that they said had come to take their political space.

One morning in March 2019, a group of “ghetto youth” donned in People Power T-shirts, roughed up Dr. Besigye as he exited a radio station in Mengo, in the city center.

Bobi Wine then made a public statement and condemned the attack but was quick to blame the state for masterminding what he called “an attack aimed at stressing hate.”

The two principals consequently held a joint press conference dubbed United Forces OF Change as a gesture to bring their supporters in order.

Yesterday Dr. Besigye pointed out that he was aware that there is a habit by the state to create fights on social media to derail the main aim of struggling to oust President Museveni.