Bugweri county MP, Abdu Katuntu has said Kizza Besigye’s refusal to run for Presidency in next year’s election was inevitable since he has lost his core constituency – youths – to ‘People Power’ firebrand, Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine).
Besigye who has been challenging President Yoweri Museveni for Presidency in the last four elections will not be running next year. He says the electoral commission can not guarantee credible elections. Instead, he says he will be involved in activism aimed at bringing about change.
On Saturday, Katuntu said that Besigye’s support was going to reduce given that the young people who had previously voted for him will now be rooting for Bobi Wine.
“Let’s look in the electoral process since 2001. What has been Dr Kizza Besigye’s core constituency? Does he still have that core constituency? My view is no,” Katuntu said during Capital Fm’s political talk show.
“All these young boys and girls you are seeing running around People Power are the same people who were running around Dr Besigye. That’s his core constituency. And he has lost it to another wave”.
“So, was he going to stand and start decampaigning his constituency because they have found another leader? Was he going to say ‘Don’t elect Kyagulanyi, elect me because I’m the better leader’? it was going to be a big problem,” Katuntu said.
The legislator says Besigye’s support was likely to be very minimal.
Similarly, NRM’s Moses Byaruhanga who is a Senior Presidential Advisor on Political Affairs, opined that Besigye was bound for an embarrassment (a significant drop in his support) which is why he opted out.
“I’m sure had he offered himself, he was going to perform poorer than in the past,” Byaruhanga said.
“Even within FDC itslef, there are challenges. We had Gen Muntu crossing away. That is not strengthening FDC. Some of their MPS have not picked FDC forms. The Woman MP for Kasese who at one time was Leader of Opposition has joined ANT. She will take with her significant supporters”.
He said majority of the constituencies where FDC has lost its MPs, NRM will win them over.
Katuntu himself recently declared that he had parted ways with the FDC.
Bobi Wine, 36, launched his political bid in 2017 when he ran for a Parliamentary seat in a by-election in Kyadondo East constituency near the capital, Kampala.
Since then, the Afropop singer has mounted pressure on President Yoweri Museveni’s government, rallying his followers, many of them youths to use their numbers and power change leadership.
The singer would later coin his ‘People Power’ slogan under which he challenges Ugandans to put an end to a status quo he says only works for a few.
In subsequent by-elections in different parts of Uganda, Bobi Wine threw his weight behind opposition candidates and used his popularity as a musician to draw in numbers. He was among the legislators that challenged the controversial amendments of the Constitution which repealed the Presidential age limit in 2017.