Aging Strongman Faces Youthful Musician Bobi Wine in Battle for Uganda’s Future

KAMPALA, Uganda—Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has gained six consecutive elections since 1986, however the strongman’s successful streak seems to be faltering in the face of a brand new type of opponent: a youthful rapper-turned-lawmaker who campaigns in a bulletproof vest.

When Ugandans head to the polls Thursday, 76-year-old Mr. Museveni will face the gravest risk to his rule from Bobi Wine, a 38-year-old musician whose marketing campaign has struck a chord with most of the 18 million voters in one of many world’s most youthful nations. 

The election has sparked the worst political violence in Uganda for decades, with greater than 50 folks shot useless by authorities forces following Mr. Wine’s arrest in November. Diplomats and rights teams have warned of protracted clashes in the wake of a marketing campaign that has seen the administration jail attorneys, prosecute election displays and violently muzzle opposition leaders. On Tuesday, the federal government additionally blocked all social-media channels.

The contest embodies a generational conflict throughout Africa, the place entrenched older leaders are grappling with more and more stressed youthful populations demanding improved financial alternatives. Mr. Museveni disparagingly calls Mr. Wine, “my grandson” whereas the rapper taunts the president as “an aging dictator,” who ought to depart energy to keep away from the destiny of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe or Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi.

“I am the representative of the future,” Mr. Wine stated. “The struggle is Africa’s generational cause and we shouldn’t retreat.”

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