The Stream

Bobi Wine interview: Does he have a future in Uganda?

Musician-turned-opposition MP alleges torture while in military custody and faces treason charge at home.

Freed on bail and facing a charge of treason, Ugandan MP Bobi Wine continues to speak out against what he sees as repressive tactics from the government of President Yoweri Museveni.

Wine and around 30 other opposition figures were arrested last month following a tense by-election campaign event that involved stones being thrown at the president’s motorcade. He is currently in the US receiving medical treatment for injuries he says were the result of torture at the hands of military forces during his two-week detention.

In a news conference last week in Washington, DC, Wine told reporters, “It should be noted, that I’m not presenting myself as a victim, because I’m nobody’s victim. I’m a survivor and I would rather represent resilience rather than giving up.”

Bobi Wine – also known by his birth name Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu – was arrested on August 13, detained in military barracks and initially charged with illegal weapons possession. Upon his departure from military court on August 23, he was re-arrested and charged with treason.

Since his election into parliament last year, Wine has become a sharp critic of President Yoweri Museveni, who has stayed in power since 1986. As a musician, Bobi Wine’s songs have called for freedom against oppression and political change. His rise from poverty to Afropop stardom helped him build a large following among youth, with fans fondly calling him the “ghetto president”. 

In this episode, The Stream speaks to Bobi Wine about his time in military detention and his political future.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Bobi Wine @HEBobiWine
Member of Parliament, Kyadondo East Uganda

Hon. Chris Baryomunsi @BaryomunsiChris
Information Officer, Ugandan Government 

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