KAMPALA, Uganda — Ugandan pop star and opposition figure Bobi Wine said Monday he will challenge longtime President Yoweri Museveni in a 2021 election “on behalf of the people.”
Bobi Wine, real names Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, said he is concerned about his safety after what he believes was an attempt on his life last August. His driver was shot dead in his car after protesters threw stones at the president’s motorcade.
Wine’s arrest at the time sparked protests in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. The 37-year-old said he is fearful of harm from running for president because “there has never been a threat to this regime like the threat we pose to it today as a generation.”
“I live every day as it comes, not being sure of the next day,” Wine said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I am not blind to the fact that the regime wants me dead and wants me dead as soon as possible.”
Authorities have repeatedly denied Wine is being targeted.
As the leader of a popular movement known as “People Power,” Wine has captured the imagination of many who want to see the exit of Museveni, a U.S. ally on regional security who has held power since 1986 and looks set to seek a sixth term.
Wine said his aim ahead of the election is “to multiply myself in various young men and women, so that there are as many Bobi Wines as possible.”
Uganda has never witnessed a peaceful transfer of power since the East African country gained independence from Britain in 1962.
“Power has been taken away from the people by those that wield guns, and that’s what we want to put an end to through the vote,” he said.
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