ALLAN SSEKAMATE: Ten conclusions from Bobi Wine’s thumping victory in Kyadondo by-election

As musician Bobi Wine sweeps the Kyaddondo East by-election in a thumping win here are ten lessons we could draw from his victory.

1- Electoral Commission has no capacity to conduct presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously. We should consider having separate days for both. (Perhaps a week apart with parliamentary elections first).

2- Voter apathy is real. We saw massive crowds in build-up to election day but only 33,000 (45 percent) out of over 72,000 registered voters turned up. 2016 was even worse as turn out was less than 20,000 or 27 percent.

3- Low voter turnout could be a pointer to a bloated voters register. Exactly how many ghosts are on EC register. Let’s clean it up.

4- Bobi Wine aka Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu’s victory is a reflection of, among other things, changing perception of success in Uganda. Twenty years ago, Ugandans couldn’t vote a musician because, like comedians (read Kato Lubwama and Mubarak Munyagwa), these weren’t considered serious vocations. Wine wins by landslide

Bobi Wine waves to his supporters. Courtesy photo

5- Seventeen years after the introduction of multiparty politics, Ugandan voters are still suffering from a hangover from days of individual merit. So Bobi Wine was able to take votes of candidates of NRM and FDC because they don’t listen to their parties.

6- Name recognition is still a key driver to electoral success, whether in presidential or parliamentary elections. Not every musician would have won in Kyaddondo East. Bobi Wine has been around for 15 years, etching his name into the socio-economic body politic of our people.

7- Despite the fractious nature of politics, Ugandans remain an organically tolerant people. The sight of Bobi Wine and Barbie, a multi-tribal family, appealed to voters sensibilities.

8- Wakiso is taking the trend of Kampala with diminishing returns for the ruling party.

9- Prepare for an even more fringe member of society standing for and winning electoral office come 2021. I am predicting that a cobbler, prostitute or former brick maker like Nkunyingi Muwadda will storm parliament.

10- Pay attention to local languages while educating your children. Masterly of your mother tongue commands more political dividends than command of English, the country’s official language.

Allan Ssekamate is a senior journalist and renowned sports commentator based in Kampala.



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