At 76 years old and all his teeth, Yoweri Museveni is still there, embodying the African leader. The man who broke the lock on the term limit in 2005 and the age limit in 2017, is running for a sixth term in the presidential elections on January 14, 2021 in one country, Uganda, which it presents, supported by international statistics, as one of the fastest growing economies over the past ten years.
The former guerrillas of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), who, back in his country, wrested power by arms in 1986 at the head of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), still has an appetite for power in view of his electric campaigns where he plays the card of a certain authenticity, African wisdom (he is nicknamed the Mzee, the sage in Swahili), territorial anchoring (he is from the Banyankole Bahima ethnic group ) and the birthright against those among the youth who advocate change. His past as a Pan-Africanist fighter and friend of high revolutionary figures like the Sudanese John Garang validates a speech as theatrical as it is authoritarian, reminiscent of “Bantu democracy” according to Mobutu.
Authoritarian and Marxist at heart although a convert to liberalism and unwavering ally of Washington in the Great Lakes region, Yoweri Museveni, former economics student at the University of Dar Es Salam in Tanzania, follower of the Pan-Africanist Julius Nyerere, did not never really withdrawn his military uniform, reducing over the years the political field to its simplest expression and, inevitably, favoring the emergence of new forces from civil society in a Uganda that he had one day to compare to his banana plantation. “How could I leave a banana plantation that I have planted and which is starting to bear fruit?” He said in early 2016, in anticipation of a presidential race he won royally. But by weakening policies, Musevenu has promoted leaders of civil society.
Thus, it is a singer, by the stage name of Bobi Wine, 38, who is the main challenger of the author of the thesis defended in the 70s (more than 60% of Ugandans were not yet born ) on Frantz Fanon’s theory of violence and against alienation.
Famous in East Africa, the Afrobeat and Reggae singer has won an MTV Music Award and took the risk on the pitch by confronting the police and military in often suppressed rallies. Real name Robert Kyagulanyi, the artist who became parliamentarian in 2017 was nominated last November as a candidate for the National Unity Platform (NUP) opposition party. Riding on the anger of urban youth and the explosive unemployment rate, Bobi Wine intends to drag Museveni to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Arrested several times, Bobi Wine continues to draw crowds during meetings under high surveillance interrupted several times. The power that accuses him of violating anti-covid-19 social distancing measures (the country has recorded 35,000 cases) continues to keep the pressure on. It remains to be seen whether the ballot in which 11 candidates participates will be in line with the will of the majority of Ugandans.
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