How is your music doing now that you are a legislator? Laughs, Great! The police say you have to differentiate between Bobi Wine and Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi. Some of your songs were banned, concerts called off. How is that working out? They (Police) have to differentiate between the police and an NRM enforcement wing. They banned my music, they tried to stop my shows but like I have always told them, you cannot stop an idea whose time has come. My songs are the most popular songs now. These guys are very old. We have a disconnection in ideas. They think we are still in times of Radio Uganda where if something is not published, it won’t reach the people. My music finds people in their bedrooms. Do you intend to run for President? Laughs. Now, that question has been asked so many times. You what you do think? If I hear enough people saying that I should run, I will make up my mind but now I still listening to the voices. How about Kyadondo East? Do you intend to run again? I am already MP of Kyadondo East. Why don’t we talk about now? Big concert plans this year? Ans: I am a musician that represents people in Parliament. I have a new song called Kyarenga. I released the video on Tuesday. Tell us about your time at Harvard. What did you study and what did you achieve there? I did a course called Leadership for the 21st Century. It is a mind-blowing programme. As they say, the purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one. It was great. I made good friends. You once worked with Gen. Kale Kayihura when he wanted to musicians to promote police work. What do you make of his predicament now? Hmmm! It just keeps me wondering why people never learn. He is not the first person who has been used to commit atrocities against Ugandans. We have seen people like Tinyefuza who have been used and dropped, Kakooza Mutale, Amama Mbabazi … A smart person like Kayihura, I wondered why he wasn’t smart enough to see that was is being used? Ultimately, he was supposed to account for what he did to the citizens of Uganda. I hope this is another lesson to all the people that abuse and misuse power. There is always a time of reckoning. What have been your best and worst days in Parliament thus far? My worst was when the Age Limit amendment law was passed. We tried to do what we can. We debated it, tried to stop it but they did it anyway. We could have succeeded only if we stood together. You know, but, the unity was lacking. I think as a country, we failed to organise and stop that. It was such a terrible failure that we must learn from as a nation. I think maybe it is high time for us to unite more and organise more. Have the police given you a report about the explosives thrown at your house? When the police decided to play politics instead of keeping law and order, protecting citizens and their property, that is when everything crumbled. They got morally degraded to the level of using known criminals and criminal gangs in the name of suppressing the opposition. Police redefined the word crime from real crime to raising voice against the dictatorship and by the time we got here, everything had fallen apart. Your colleague in the House, Abiriga was shot dead recently. I don’t see any body guard here with you. Aren’t you afraid for your own safety? You realise that most murders have been traced back to the security forces so when it is the police that is perpetrating crime, who do you run to? You run to yourself. So, me, God is my keeper. Even those that confessed undying love for the regime are six-feet under now, so nobody is safe. Not even those people who ride with big guns. Your musical nemesis Bebe Cool says that you have no right to tell the youth that this government has failed them yet you built a flat and drove an Escalade at 25 years in the same government. Well, I don’t blame Bebe Cool. He should know that a right is not a privilege. He should know that some of us have survived extreme poverty because of talent. We are just exceptions but our fellow young men and women out there, those that support us are being shipped on planes to go into slavery. Many of them have resorted to crime because they are unemployed. He should know that our agemates are dying in hospitals because there is no treatment. Our sisters – 19 of them that die every day during child birth. It is our people – those people that love us, that pay their hard earned, overtaxed money to uplift us. Those are the people that I speak for. If I was to speak for myself, I’d be quiet. Is there hope for Uganda going forward? There is a lot of hope. These young people have a totally different mindset. A mindset that is neither identified by tribe, religion or political party. They are identified by what they have in common – the fears and the hopes. They fear to get old, broke and miserable. They fear to age in the country where you can no longer walk on the streets holding your mobile phone. They hope to see a country more united. Their hopes and fears bind them together. That is why when someone who communicates such fears rises up like myself, they support you because you understand them. How are you juggling Parliament, performances, school, and family? Ans: My sleeping hours reduced drastically. But of course, I still find time for my family. I have very little time for music, that is why I release fewer songs. If President Museveni invited you on a round table and asked you to work with him, would you consider it? The reason why I came up is because I had seen that it cannot get any better with the current leadership. I think it is not a question of working with him. It is a question of overhauling the entire system, redistributing power. The presidency has so much power that even ministers mean nothing. Most importantly, it is not about me. It is about letting in an entire generation and this should not depend on President Museveni. It should depend on the law and the will of the people. So many musicians and other entertainers are now seeking to join Parliament. What is your advice to these people? It is a good thing to have artistes going into leadership because artistes tend to connect with so many people but my advice is them is that they should be in to offer a service not to enrich themselves. And to the young people who look up to you? Those young people should not look at me as an exception but rather as a common ghetto youth taking a decision to build confidence within himself and then going out for it. They should know that they too can make it and even bigger, that power is in their own hands and it is upon them to use it well. What should Ugandans expect from you as you start another year in Parliament?
“They know I am their president. Many of them come from the ghetto so don’t be shocked when they salute me. They know who they are saluting.”
I can’t promise so much. I promise commitment, resilience and most importantly, I promise never to give up.