Kyadondo East MP and presidential hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, and a European Union (EU) delegation held a closed-door meeting yesterday to discuss his preparedness for the 2021 elections.
Bobi Wine and leaders of the National Unity Platform (NUP) spent the better part of yesterday morning at the party offices at Kamwokya in Kampala, articulating their concerns and grievances to the 13-member EU delegation.
The NUP team comprised party secretary general David Lewis Rubongoya, vice president Lina Zedriga, Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga, Manjiya County MP John Baptist Nambeshe, spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi and women’s league leader Flavia Kalule.
The EU team was led by Head of EU Delegation to Uganda Ambassador Attilio Pacifici. It comprised ambassadors of France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, Ireland and Denmark.
Mr Ssenyonyi said the EU, as stakeholders in Uganda’s politics, sought to know NUP’s challenges as the Opposition.
“We discussed the situation in Uganda, including insecurity, blocking of our activities and brutality, which has been meted out to our supporters. Some of them died and there has never been any position from government,” he said.
Sources in NUP told Daily Monitor that prior to the meeting, Bobi Wine had written to the EU, seeking a meeting to air out his grievances with government.
According to the source, top on the list of the issues presented to the EU delegation was the death of Bobi Wine’s driver Yasiin Kawuma, who was shot dead in 2018 during the Arua Municipality by-election violence, and Dan Kyeyune who was shot dead by a Local Defence Unit operative in Nansana, Wakiso District, last year.
“Mr Kyagulanyi had a couple of issues to raise, including human rights violations and police blocking his consultations. The other issue they talked about was lack of funding after Bobi Wine’s concerts were blocked. Bobi Wine also addressed the issue of virtual campaigns introduced by the Electoral Commission. He said government officials have continued to flout the rules yet he is blocked from accessing radios to speak to the people,” the source said.
“They [EU] also wanted to know how they can support NUP either financially or with ideas on how to move their campaigns ahead. They agreed to keep meeting occasionally as and when agreed upon,” the source added.
The source also said the EU assured Bobi Wine and his team that the ambassadors would forward their issues to the government and also share some of the outstanding complaints with their home countries to see how they can help.
Past opposition meeting
This is not the first time EU has met with Opposition leaders. Before and after 2016 General Election, the EU met Dr Kizza Besigye on several occasions at his home, triggering speculation that they were funding his campaigns.
Yesterday, Mr Ssenyonyi also said they did not discuss funding for the party. “All the representatives we have met are from governments that heavily fund the government. We wish they could fund us too, but it is not true we talked about the issue of receiving money from them. We have asked them why they fund the government with money and arms, which they use to terrorise the citizens,” he said.