Ugandan pop star-turned-leading opposition figure Bobi Wine said he was ready to take on veteran President Yoweri Museveni in the 2021 elections.
Bobi Wine, Uganda's pop star-turned-opposition leader, said on Monday he will challenge longtime President Yoweri Museveni in elections set for 2021.
"I will challenge President Museveni on behalf of the people," he said in an interview with The Associated Press.
But Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, said he was concerned about his safety after surviving what he believes was an attempt on his life last August when his driver was shot dead in his car following an incident in which protesters threw stones at the president's motorcade.
My friend Jose Chameleon paid me a visit. We spoke abt future of our country & his political ambition. Told me of his recent decision to join #PeoplePower. I advised that he has chance to prove to the oppressed population that he truly stands with them. https://t.co/AZRwhOsD3C pic.twitter.com/Qdm2h2Eakf— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) July 15, 2019
"I live every day as it comes, not being sure of the next day," he said in an interview at his home just outside the capital, Kampala.
"I am not blind to the fact that the regime wants me dead and wants me dead as soon as possible."
Wine, who is 37, said he is fearful because "there has never been a threat to this regime like the threat we pose to it today as a generation."
As the leader of a popular movement known as "People Power," Wine has captured the imagination of many who want to see the exit of Museveni, who has held power since 1986 and looks set to run for a new term.
Wine first came to prominence in 2017 when, as an independent candidate, he won election as a lawmaker representing a constituency near Kampala.
He has since successfully campaigned for other opposition candidates, raising his profile as a national leader and attracting calls urging him to run for president.
But Wine faces multiple challenges, including limited opportunities to hold rallies or stage concerts ahead of elections.
The police have violently foiled his most recent attempts to hold public events. He also faces treason charges stemming from his alleged role in the incident in which the president's convoy was attacked with stones.
Prosecutors have since amended the charge sheet to include the alleged offence of annoying the president, in addition to a separate charge related to alleged disobedience of lawful orders. He denies all the charges.
Wine would be ineligible to run for president if he were to be convicted of any of those crimes.
"We know that the regime is going to try anything within their reach to block us from contesting," Wine said.