The Arrest of Uganda’s ‘Ghetto President’ Suggests He Has Rattled the Real One

The Arrest of Uganda’s ‘Ghetto President’ Suggests He Has Rattled the Real One
Ugandan lawmakers are taken away in a prison truck after appearing in a court in Gulu, northern Uganda, Aug. 16, 2018 (AP photo by Ronald Kabuubi).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

Since being elected to Uganda’s parliament last year, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssenatamu has become a major thorn in the side of President Yoweri Museveni. Instantly recognizable in his red beret, Kyagulanyi, an independent politician who first gained fame as a pop star and refers to himself as the “ghetto president,” emerged as the leader of a protest movement in late 2017 against a constitutional amendment to lift Uganda’s presidential age limit. The amendment was apparently designed to enable Museveni, who’s been in power since 1986, to stay in office for the rest of his life, as Julian Hattem noted in a briefing for WPR at the time.

Though that amendment passed, the events of this week demonstrate that Kyagulanyi, more commonly known in Uganda as Bobi Wine, remains a potent political force. And he apparently has the government rattled.

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