KASANGATI. Popular musician and parliamentary candidate Ribert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu commonly known as Bobi Wine on Sunday upstaged the opposition FDC party, pulling massive crowds to his rallies as top party officials campaigned for his challenger in the same area.
Top FDC officials, including iconic former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye, party president Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu and chairman Wasswa Birigwa campaigned for Apollo Katinti at Wampewo, Kasangati, but Bobi Wine, an independent candidate in the race with an association to the FDC, held his rally in the adjacent Nangabo subcounty.
The Bobi Wine rally attracted massive crowds, leaving comparison to stress FDC stalwarts on social media with the biggest rant coming from FDC head for mobilisation Ingrid Turinawe, who sought to attack journalist John Njoroge among the many social media users who had compared the two rallies.
“And John Njoroge is a journalist whom I thought is a professional. I have been respecting him since John Kazoora introduced him to me some 10 years ago. A professional who reports rally (venue) preparations as a rally? I am sorry, I was mistaken. Stay calm, Katinti is winning.”
Njoroge hits back
“I usually don’t get annoyed about Facebook rants but today I am very pissed. Yesterday I reposted pictures taken around the same time before the beginning of both Katinti and Kyagulanyi’s rallies. Pictures were taken before both rallies began. In one picture, there was a full crowd and in another no people yet. Both grounds were preparing for the arrival of the aspirants,” he wrote.
“In my post, I repeated what I have said before, that when citizens get tired of broken promises from politicians, they turn to religion, beliefs and compensation—comedy. I never said anything negative about any of the candidates. I have said before it would be a grave mistake to ignore Bobi Wine because he has a huge following. And the crowds show it. Numbers.
“Now Ingrid Turinawe decides that I am not friendly, and now a group of goons are all over my inbox calling me names. I can turn viral. Back off. Facebook is not a media house. I am not influential. Who am I?” The journalist known for his no-holds-barred approach to public issues hit back.
Six candidates are vying for the Kyadondo East County parliamentary seat, including Bobi Wine and Katinti, Muwada Nkunyinji (Independent), Sitenda Sebalu (NRM), Lillian Kamoome (DP), and Sowedi Kayondo (Independent).
The Kyadondo East June 29 by-election comes after Kantinti, an opposition FDC candidate, lost the seat after both the Court of Appeal and the lower High Court nullified his election on grounds that the EC did not comply with electoral laws.
The Bobi Wine Vs Katinti candidacy has left FDC leader Kizza Besigye walking on eggshells. A known friend to the musician, Dr Besigye has chosen to publicly support the official party candidate but also noted that he would have no qualms if Bobi Wine won the race.
Basing on the situation on the ground, it is increasingly clear that Bibo wine has a big chance to win the by-election.