Bobi Wine Approached For Talks With Museveni

Robert Kyagulanyo Ssentamu Alias Bobi Wine

The acrimonious exchanges of insults between the ruling NRM, which won the January 2021 presidential election, and the losing opposition National Unity Platform has further diminished the already remote prospects of talks to resolve the impasse over elections. According to NUP insiders, there are efforts initiated by foreign groups to have both President Museveni and his fiercest challenger in the January poll Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu to sit down for talks. They are establishing contact with the president to see how the country moves forward after a bitter election. Even at NUP, there have been a number of meetings to try and convince Kyagulanyi to talk to Museveni. According to reports from an insider, the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries, has a delegation in the country, sent to broker a peaceful resolution to the impasse brought on by the dispute over election results. Another person close to Kyagulanyi, who declined to be named to speak freely, confirmed that indeed there are people who have talked to their principal about the need for dialogue. He, however, declined to name names. That option is very risky for him, he fears to be misunderstood if he were to speak to [president] Museveni,” the source said. Interviewed for a comment, NUP spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi confirmed the party has received suggestions for dialogue with Museveni.

However, Ssenyonyi said accepting to speak to Museveni presupposes there is something personal between him and Kyagulanyi. According to Ssenyonyi, “There are people who try to reach out but we have consistently said there is nothing personal between Kyagulanyi and Museveni that they have to iron out. These are matters of the country; so, if there is going to be any kind of talks, it must be by Ugandans and about Uganda. Also, the NUP is also skeptical of Museveni’s intentions. We are not interested in talks with Museveni if the aim is to throw money here and there or positions. Him saying he will drive and meet us wherever we will be; we are not interested in such an arrangement that doesn’t involve all Ugandans,” Speaking during the weekend Capital Gang political program on Capital FM, Ofwono Opondo, the government spokesperson, said people calling for talks are nothing but hawkers aiming to make quick money from foreigners who will bankroll the negotiations. According to Opondo, “Ugandans willingly voted for President Museveni and, therefore, there is no issue between him and the opposition that requires negotiations. Last week, President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni said he doesn’t need anyone to mediate a political solution between him and his opponents. This proclamation came two weeks after the Electoral Commission declared him as the winner of the hotly contested January 2021 presidential election. Museveni polled 58% of the 10 million votes cast. His closest rival and runner-up, Kyagulanyi polled 35%. However, Kyagulanyi has since dismissed the results as fraudulent and has run to court.

Until Monday last week, he was under house arrest. According to security officials, he was considered a national security threat. Before the High court ordered an end to the army and police siege of Kyagulanyi’s home, a number of prominent leaders had called for national dialogue to calm tempers.

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