‘People Power Secretariat’ writes to President Museveni

Bobi Wine and fans during This Tax Must Go protest in Kampala last month. Courtesy photo.

Recently, People Power has been much spoken, starting with Ugandans and going to neighboring countries like Kenya and Tanzania.

Soon, it became a global epithet by people protesting the brutal arrest of Bobi Wine and other opposition politicians, and their continued detention by government.

With initial thoughts in everybody’s mind that People Power was merely a slogan to wake up the oppressed Ugandans to push for regime change, it now appears – People Power is an emerging and ‘organized pressure group’ – with physical presence in all forms.

And for nearly two months now, perhaps more, the ‘pressure group’ has formally written to President Museveni, urging him to bow down.

In their letter dated 24, August, 2018 and copied to Speaker of Parliament and Chief Justice, they outlined key issues, making references back on how Uganda’s quest for true independence commenced and how, in their opinion, was mishandled and subsequently now being mismanaged by NRM government.

People Power Letter to President Museveni.

Nyanzi Fred Ssentamu, who says he’s the National Coordinator, People Power, says the biggest mistake President Museveni has made since taking over power 32 years ago is failure to narture future young leaders.

“On behalf of the People Power ideologists and on my own behalf, I greet you and thank you for running the government. Since the unfortunate incident in Arua and sun sequent events, many things have been said and done. Of course many leaders including you have spoken out. Personally, you are reported to have tweeted more than once about this matter. At this moment in time, People Power wishes to break the silence and put the record clear.

Your Excellency, every time we are faced with such situations, they remind us about the nasty history we have gone through as a country. You need not to be reminded that since independence our country has gone through violent history that did not only squander lives of Ugandans, but left the country completely eroded in everything. When you took power in 1986, most Ugandans received a sigh of relief hoping that the cycle of violence had come to an end.

The brutality against people power leaders and the subsequent barbaric events against the wanainchi are clear revelations of what has been going on behind the sense in your government. Mr President, is the violent history of our country not raising its ugly head again? We strongly believe that as leaders at all levels, more especially you the head of state and Fountain of Honor need to rise above this dust.

During UNLF government, you were arrested and forced to sit down at a road block by UNLA soldiers.

During the same time, your young brother Salim Saleh was arrested and detained by the late Paul Mwanga. Can your Excellency reflect on your reactions at that time! That is the pain that the detained People Power Leaders, including my young brother [Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu] and his relatives are going through.

Mr President, I personally was not only a member of NRM, but one of your national task force members in the recently concluded general elections without arrogating me to be a prophet, what forced me to leave the party shall make many more leave if this injustice continues. It’s therefore farfetched to think that the arrests, torture and detention of People Power Leaders shall stop us from pursuing change and justice.

You, with the support of Ugandans did it against Amin, did it against Obote, did it against Lutwa and we believe we can do it. This time however, we shall use civic means and we invite your positive participation.

About People Power, Mr President, since you took power in 1986, one of the biggest disservices your leadership has done is the failure to nurture leaders. Resultantly, you are now surrounded by people who only work for self aggrandizement and do not mind about Uganda anymore. This brokenness is now in every sector of our society more especially among the leaders.

The emergence of People Power therefore, is not only to avert this situation but also to provide new leadership that shall deliver peaceful transition and create a soft landing for all of us as people and you personally. We are peace minded Ugandans who strongly believe that rising to power through violence is not only primitive method but rather breeds more violence and is costly.

In this kind of environment, desperate Ugandans who are yearning for change may act different; however, as leaders we shall remain committed to a peaceful path.

We believe that we own this generation just like you did in the sixties, seventies, eighties ad nineties. We however appreciate the role your generation has played and we cannot purge away the ole generation. Your generation, only needs to appreciate that each generation has its own challenges whose answers must be provided by the same generation.

The unemployment, the poor health system, the bad education syetem and the abject poverty in the country cannot be solved by its perpetuators but rather the victims. Nonetheless, in whichever circumstances, peace, stability and tolerance shall remains key to a peaceful transition. This background, informed our decision led by Hon. Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi [Bobi Wine] to conceive the People Power vision so that we can change the plight of Ugandans with whom we share the suffering.

Arresting, torturing, murdering, brutalizing and detention of leaders, including the members of the population therefore, shall only escalate the situation to create more Bobi Wines.

A brief about young brother Hon. Kyagulanyi

Hon. Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi is a young man born in a humble family like you. He grew up in your regime, in a less privileged society and has risen through the ranks in a hard was just like majority of Ugandans. This background has shaped this Gentleman to be humble, peaceful, hardworking and foresighted, and a man of his words. It’s unfortunate and insulting therefore to portray him as a thug simply because of what he stands for. The Bobi I know is a committed man, very determined and convicted in pursuit of any cause which is Pro People. He will be the last person to be moved by any inch from what is right.

The last page of the letter signed by Nyanzi Fred Ssentamu.

Lastly, our noble desire as People Power to your Excellency is to set Bobi Wine and his colleagues free so that we can dialogue on a soft landing together as a country. Using draconian Laws and the gun to solve political impasses, was done by your predecessors and consequences are quite obvious.

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