Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to have opposition politician Bobi Wine has enraged musicians, politicians, and citizens in East Africa and around the world.

Last year, the award-winning musician Bobi Wine – real name Robert Kyagulanyi – transformed his badboy musician image and entered politica. He then went on to win the race for Kyandondo East MP. His win was a landslide.

With his slogan “People power”, wine has self-proclaimed himself the voice of the commoners in Uganda.

While Bobi wine may be the flavor of the moment, there have been other notable politicians in Africa and beyond, who have taken on regimes that are largely perceived as dictatorial and oppressive:

Kizza Besigye

Before Bobi Wine’s meteoric rise, Besigye was the man who gave President Museveni sleepless nights.

Born in 1956, Besigye is also fondly referred to as Colonel (a reference to his rank during his time in the armed forces), Daktari, Kifefe, KB, and Ssenyondo (Big Hammer).

In 2000, Dr. Besigye announced that he would run for the presidency against Yoweri Museveni in the 2001 general elections.

He lost to the incumbent. He accused the government of rampant rigging of votes, and violence against his supporters.

Since then, the Museveni government has hounded him, alternately detaining and releasing him.

Raila Odinga

“Rao”, as he is popularly known, needs no introduction to Kenyans. Son to the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Raila was first elected to parliament in 1992.

Mr. Odinga first joined the race for presidency in 1997. He came third behind President Daniel Moi, and Mwai Kibaki.

In 2002, he joined forces with Mwai Kibaki and other opposition politician, helping to kick the ruling KANU out of power.

He would then go on to lose the presidential race to Mwai Kibaki in 2007-where he later became Prime Minister in a coalition government-, and in 2012 and 2017 to current President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Despite his failure to become President, Odinga is seen by many as a voice of change, helping keep honest successive governments in their dealings with the citizenry.

Morgan Tsvangirai

Tsvangirai first contested for the presidency in 2002 on the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) ticket. He lost to Mugabe. On October 2000, he was arrested, accused of threatening President Robert Mugabe. He had asked Mugabe to step down, or face a violent overthrow.On March 6 2009, he sustained minor injuries in a road crash. However, his wife, Susan Tsvangirai lost her life in the accident.

He died on 14th February 2018, after reportedly succumbing to colorectal cancer.




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