Ugandan Veteran journalist, Tony Owana. (FILE PHOTO)


Someone has written a good piece to President Yoweri Museveni, urging him to dialogue with what he or she calls “the ghetto wave”. He or she accused Museveni of having carelessly let the ghetto grow into NUP during his 35 years in power. This writer assumes that the ghetto started in 1986 when NRM took power but this is very untrue. He or she then gloats that the ghetto has entered parliament, adding that it nearly swept Yoweri out of State House. There are many pertinent issues raised in the article but the author also misses the dramatic changes that the ghetto prophet Bobi Wine has undergone since he joined elective politics.

I think NUP, which is an alliance of a former ghetto boss and traditional opposition parties’ politicians clinging to any straw for survival, lost the ghetto characteristics from the time Bobi Wine took oath as Hon Robert Kyagulanyi, MP Kyaddondo East.
The mutation from Ghetto to Gentility began when Bobi sliced off his beloved dreadlocks and unhappily conceded that bhang-smoking was in fact a shameful crime. This was after “advice from above”.

This journey also began when Bobi Wine conquered poverty and left the Kamwokya slums for his palace in Magere. He became a tourist to the ghetto than a soul-mate. Indeed on becoming MP, he lost the ghetto presidency and the now far more suitable Butcherman took over.
Any blatant affinity he may have had for slum crime was tempered via engagement with former IGP Gen Kale Kayihura and other security gurus. Indeed some NRM money assisted his bid for parliament and details of any quid pro quo are his secret.

The ghetto culture kept diminishing as People Power embraced regular political players from old parties including NRM. They refused to become ghettoists and instead modified Bobi Wine to become one of them.
International opportunists like Robert Amsterdam and chaos-funder Trippi also greatly contributed to killing the ghetto spirit in Bobi because their evil plans for Uganda could not succeed via the ghetto.
The Kampala Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church, which virtually embraced Kyagulanyi as its presidential candidate also imposed terms of reference, pushing the ghetto deeper into oblivion.
Museveni was also busy. Ghetto boss Butcherman was appointed Presidential Adviser on Ghetto Affairs, making significant inroads into the territory. This was as State House’s Nakyoobe modified ghetto livelihood with small-scale income-generating projects. How many of them did you see looting or rioting recently?
Instead we saw Butcherman leading his flock in surrendering garments resembling those of the security forces, bringing even more civility into the Ghetto.

By the time the presidential campaign started, many of those who had been with Bobi Wine were openly complaining that he had abandoned them on the way. The elitist politicians, mainly from DP, had totally modified the young upstart into an ordinary politician like them.
When these politicians painfully surrendered leadership to him, Old Yoweri announced that the opposition was on its way to extinction…
In the last election, Kampala Central, citadel of Bobi’s ghetto, rejected his elder brother Nyanzi in favour of incumbent Muhamad Nsereko.

We all know that during the campaign NUP was fighting tooth and nail to assure Ugandans that they were not bringing Ghetto into public office and even after losing the State House bid, the struggle to distance NUP from SITULAGO is continuing.

In time we shall concede that this transformation is another item in NRM’s success story as crafted by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni…

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