So Yoweri Museveni – the only Ugandan President I have known in my lifetime was in town visiting Kenya. He was accorded all the due diplomatic welcomes by the state agencies including a meeting with the Kenyan President Uhuru.
However, things go too ‘undiplomatic’ when he was slated to visit the Kenyatta University to give a public address to the students. His address was first met by a protest on social media with various activists calling on the students to either protest or boycott the lecture.
Comrades at Kenyatta University you’ve done us proud by calling out Dictator Museveni. Students held peaceful demos chanting @HEBobiwine slogans.
This must be the first time Museveni is watching being booed and can’t order his killer soldiers to open fire pic.twitter.com/3P6TL7ArtT
— Kenya West© (@KinyanBoy) March 29, 2019
Kenyatta University comrades, well done for speaking truth to #Uganda dictator @KagutaMuseveni. Shame to @KenyattaUni leadership for disrupting the academic calendar to host a dictator. Chanting #FreeStellaNyanzi will give Museveni nightmares, comrades, chant her name, LOUDLY! https://t.co/8UXKvvDAMd
— Boniface Mwangi (@bonifacemwangi) March 29, 2019
So Yoweri Museveni is going to give a lecture at Kenyatta University on “Integrating Africa”? The man who has jailed a Professor without trial for “insulting” him on Facebook? The man who has been in power for 30+ years and is set to vie again?
— juma G. 🇰🇪 (@jumaf3) March 29, 2019
Museveni chased away from Kenyatta university by students chanting Bobi wine !! Bobi wine !! And telling him to #FreeStellaNyanzi. One of them was seen lighting a fire and setting the Ugandan flag ablaze.
Freedom is coming soon to UGANDA 🇺🇬!!! pic.twitter.com/7J239zpAgu
— kenyan president 🇰🇪💥 (@edudee254) March 29, 2019
— Kenyatta University’s finest🇰🇪 (@felix_aiko) March 29, 2019
DEAR Uganda: This is how it was in KENYATTA UNIVERSITY, KENYA, when a A DICTATOR from a neighboring country, Uganda, attempted to lecture university students. It is very important that KENYA as a whole sends a strong message to Kaguta Museveni that is time to #FreeStellaNyanzi. pic.twitter.com/QiehMda6Sq
— Lord Abraham Mutai (@ItsMutai) March 29, 2019
— BRAVIN™ (@ItsBravin) March 29, 2019
Never mind that the University canceled the day’s examination to accommodate the impromptu lecture by the visiting head of state. On the d-day, President Museveni’s lecture at the Kenyatta University was marked by student chanting the name of his political rival Bobi Wine.
Bobi Wine, a renowned musician turned politician who hit international deadline last year following his questionable arrest by the Ugandan police. Mr. Wine, a youthful leader who many see as progressive compared to the (not aging but) aged Museveni and one likely to be better placed to steer Uganda forward, has become a somewhat a regional and international star.
During President Museveni’s address at the amphitheater hall at the Kenyatta University. Students are seen in various video footage shared widely on social media chanting the name ‘Bobi Wine.’
Social Media and Rights Activism
In today’s world, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes are finding it hard to infringe on civil rights without going unnoticed. Armed with even an entry-level smartphone with a camera, any citizen can take a picture of video and then go online on any of the numerous social media platforms to call out a right violation.
The Uganda government under Museveni has conducted an unabated and questionable crackdown on any opposition within the country. These acts do not go unnoticed not just regionally but across the world. The internet and social media have given the citizens power, and since real power rest with the people; not the government. It is to the best interest of any government to ensure they do not infringe on civil rights and liberty of the people.