Winnie Byanyima: why put your future in the hands of ‘‘tired old men’’

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Winnie Byanyima the executive director Oxfam international has asked president Museveni to have mercy on the two men whose song allegedly ‘ attacked and disturbed’ his peace. ‘‘they are singing the truth’’ she said.
She added: I am inspired by our young people who use their art to raise awareness and defend human rights and democracy. ‘‘they are our heroes.’’ She said.

Byanyima wondered how composing and recording a song asking someone to retire after 35 years in power becomes a criminal offence.
Buganda Road magistrate’s court charged the two men- David Mugema 31, and his music producer Jonah Muwanguzi 23, with offensive communication by composing a song that disturbed president Museveni’s peace. They were remanded to Luzira until Wednesday

The two artists were arraigned before grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu and charged under the Computer Misuse Act. They denied the charges and were sent on remand.
Prosecution alleges that between 2015 and 2017 at Salama road in Makindye division, the duo willfully and repeatedly composed, recorded, produced and electronically communicated through social media a song titled ‘Wumula’ where they attacked and disturbed the peace of the president of Uganda without a without a legitimate reason.

The presiding Magistrate observed and read out the charges to the accused. They denied the charges.
Ms Kamasanyu also informed the accused that she had expected a prosecutor from the Uganda Communications commission (UCC) who did not show up because he was attending a workshop. The case was adjourned to Wednesday.

Earlier Byanyima said that with more than half of Uganda’s population (36m) below the age of 25, Uganda is described as young population ‘ ‘ it doesn’t make sense to put the future of young people in the hands of tired old men’’ she tweeted on Monday.

After 31 years at the helm, the emerging public view is that many Ugandans oppose President Museveni’s bid to stay on after the next election in 2021 when he will not be eligible to run for office being above the 75-year age cap.Museveni is aged 73, while the current law blocks candidates over 75. Plans to remove presidential age limits is seen by many as paving the way for President Museveni to serve a sixth term in office.

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