Ugandan opposition lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi is appealing to President Yoweri Museveni to place statesmanship ahead of political ambitions. In his first official address to the media since his return from the U.S. last week, Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine, asked Museveni to think about his life after office.
We want to be free to express our opinions without fear of persecution. This was the message that opposition lawmaker Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine, directed at President Yoweri Museveni Monday.
It was Kyagulani's first news conference since he returned from the United States, where he was receiving medical treatment for injuries he says he received last month while in police custody.
He accused Museveni of becoming a tyrant who has turned Ugandans into fugitives because they hold a contrary opinion to his.
Kyagulani appealed to Museveni to care more for the next generation instead of the next general elections.
“Just like there was a time when you are not in power, you must remember that there will be a time when you are not in power. So, you should treat people the way you want to be treated," he said. "The nation has always been looking up to you. It is not too late Mr President to do what is right. It is not too late to listen to our cries. It is not too late to save your legacy Mr. President.”
VOA reached out to a government spokesman for comment on Kyagulani's remarks but received no reply.
Police and soldiers were out in force when Kyagulani landed at Entebbe International Airport last week, to prevent his supporters from holding any marches or rallies.
Political analyst Andrew Karamaji describes Kyagulanyi’s message to Museveni as one of reconciliation. But he doubts Karamaji the Ugandan leader will consider the message.
“I think that he ought to self-introspect and think about what has gone on before, the contribution he has made," he said. "The interest of safeguarding his legacy, whatever he has done, which he is now starting to unravel and destroy. And think about those things and now move towards securing that legacy and ensuring that we have the first peaceful transition in our country.”
Kyagulanyi and 32 others face treason charges for allegedly throwing stones at President Museveni’s convoy in the town of Arua. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.