Bobi Wine says
“We are aware that the state has attempted to use some people to reserve and register the name People Power as a political organization with the Electoral Commission. The intention is to hijack this name and prevent us from using it further. We also have information that the state is planning to invoke Section 56 of the Penal Code Act and declare People Power an unlawful society. We have also heard state officials declare People Power a terrorist organization. We are aware of all these antics but we are not bothered about them. We are not even surprised- despots throughout history manipulate the law to oppress their people. We know that what we are doing is legal, moral and right. No one can hijack People Power because People Power is the People of Uganda. People Power is you and me.
People Power is you, young person who finished school five years ago but continue to struggle to find employment. People Power is you student who is in school studying very hard but you know that you will not get a decent job if nobody knows you
People Power is you Ugandan who left your country against your will and are living as a slave in a foreign land, doing odd jobs so that at the end of the year you can send some money home
People Power is you, young lady who is right now in labor but you are very worried about becoming added to the statistics of mothers who die in labor every day because of our ailing health care system. People Power is you who lost a loved one because there was no oxygen in hospital, or you couldn’t find an ambulance to save his or her life.
People Power is you journalist who is beaten on the street for doing your work; the lawyer who is told to back off if a case involves ‘abanene mu gavumenti’; the doctor who has been promised every year that things will get better only for them to get worse; the teacher who educates other people’s children but cannot afford to educate his or her own children because of very poor pay- that is People Power.
People Power is the religious leader who is branded an enemy of the state for preaching against injustice and oppression- who is constantly told to only preach about the spiritual needs of his flock and forget about their physical needs.
People Power is you who is struggling to run a business but the state is imposing heavy taxes on you with little to show for it in terms of service delivery. People Power is that market woman selling vegetables but cannot make ends meet because of the high market dues.
People Power is the ghetto youth who doesn’t know what the future holds for him or her. These past days, the ghetto youth have seen government officials come with brown envelopes, with handouts telling them to stop supporting People Power. The wise ghetto youth knows that for 32 years he has been neglected. He has always heard about the youth fund but the money is stolen before it gets to the ghetto. The ghetto youth knows that the voice which is speaking for him is now being silenced. He is not willing to be used, but the uncertain future still stairs at him.
People Power is the elite who is employed today but is not guaranteed of employment tomorrow because of the continuous lay-offs in companies as the economy continues to bite.
People Power is that wealthy investor whose investments are under threat because of the bad politics of those steering the ship called Uganda.
People Power is that politician who belongs to the NRM party but is bothered by the way things are going, and yet has no voice within the party to raise those issues without being labelled a rebel and fought by the state.
People Power is the several opposition members who have time and again been labeled terrorists simply because they don’t agree with the policies of the current establishment.
People Power is the artiste, the entertainer, the blogger, the boda boda rider, the taxi driver, the conductor, the electrician, the hair dresser.
Ladies and Gentlemen, People Power is every Ugandan who is interested in a better country. Many will come and claim to be leaders of People Power. Some are already using this to get money from the state and thereafter cause disruption. Ignore such people and remain focused on the cause. You shall know them by their fruits. People Power is all of us. Even myself, I am just like the rest of you- only lucky that you have given me a platform to speak with a louder voice. So just like you, I am also People Power.
I urge my fellow Ugandans to continue to strive for a better country. Use every opportunity to work for a free Uganda. The odds against us are many, but let us not tire. One American leader once said that ‘Even in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it.” I have never been more hopeful that this country will rise from its current state of injustice and greed by those who govern us. Let us together work towards achieving a Uganda that works for all Ugandans. And that is our vision for the future. A Uganda where leaders don’t cheat their way to power. Where leaders are servants and not lords over citizens. A country whose economy thrives. A country whose people are proud to be called Ugandans. A country where citizens hold their leaders accountable. A country whose people are not oppressed and bartered, A Uganda that works for all Ugandans. A Uganda that provides equal opportunities for all, regardless of who they are.
I call upon all of us to be peaceful and non-violent in our quest for a better country. Let us not respond to state inspired violence with violence- we would have given them their desire to kill, maim and destroy. But we must be assertive. We must assert our rights peacefully, boldly and courageously. We must reject injustice, oppression, suppression and exploitation with one voice. One day, we shall be free.
I cannot end this address without once again sending sympathies to the family of my late brother and friend, afande Muhammad Kirumira. His brutal murder only tells us how much we have to do to heal our nation. I also once again send sympathies to the people of Tanzania for the loss of over 200 citizens in a ferry accident on Lake Victoria. I will soon announce plans to reach out and thank all those who have stood and continue to stand with us in this struggle against dictatorship. Specifically, let me assure our dear brothers and sisters in Kenya, as well as other fraternal African countries that I have read your countless messages of solidarity. Very soon, I will announce plans for us to meet, interact and sing songs of freedom.