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Artists veering into politics in Uganda. But do they have Ugandans at heart?


Uganda will hold its next general elections in 2021. But already about seven musicians and actors have revealed their intentions to vie for political positions in Parliament.

Patriko Mujuuka is an actor, comedian and long serving Buganda Kingdom radio presenter eying the Nakifuma constituency seat in 2021.

‘‘But I will come out and say what has to be said, I will come out and say the truth if my people are suffering in a particular way I will come and mention it. You won’t shut my mouth that I shouldn’t say that, me, red will be red, blue will be blue, green will be green and don’t tell me that green is navy blue or it is sky blue, no, it will remain that and I will come out and say that if am to be beaten’‘, Mujuuka said.

We have two types of artists, some of them just want to survive and they will occupy office and don't care what they represent, and then others are going to represent and be the reflection of the people they represent.

Mujuuka like Bobi Wine is coming on independent ticket. But he is particularly disturbed by the fact that artists get divided when they join politics.

‘‘Why should we go on dividing ourselves like that and even failing to come to work to together, for something that is going to help the people. We can’t come together because we subscribe to different parties. People will see me with so and so, what will my chairman say, we don’t need to bring in that. If we are bringing in that then we are failing our people’‘, he added.

Hilary Kiyaga, also known as Doctor Hilderman, Geoffrey Lutaaya, and Ronald Mayinja are among musicians who have declared their political ambitions to run.

So far only one female artist has publicly declared her intentions to vie for Gomba municipality constituency.

Mary Flavia Namulindwa owns ‘The dance n bits cultural troupe’ which specializes in cultural dance and theatre.

‘‘Oh yes I am a a member of people power. Because people have the power, we are nothing without the people. That’s why people power is stronger than the people in power’‘, Namulindwa told Africanews.

It is no doubt that more young people are picking interest in Uganda’s top political positions.

Mujuuka, Kiyaga, Mayinja and Namulindwa will be contesting against ruling national resistance movement party candidates who have held those positions for more than twenty years.

Kyadondo East Member of Parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi also known as Bobi Wine is pleased that a good number of his colleagues in the arts industry are joining politics.

However, he advises artists not to look at parliament positions only but rather from local council level even up to presidency.

He said while the political environment remains rather hostile especially to opposition politicians, artists may have to work together for a common good.

‘‘So artists like other Ugandans have lived life, have experienced various things and they would want the best for themselves and those people around them especially those ones that they would want to lead. When I was facing blatant human rights abuses fellow artists like Nubian Lee, King Saha, Jennipher full figure, Jose Chameleon, like eddy Kenzo they came out to speak for me, I was humbled’‘, Kyagulanyi said.

However, not all artists who have joined politics in the past had Ugandans at heart. In fact Kyagulanyi affirms that some of them have reasons other than advancing their society.

‘‘We have two types of artists, some of them just want to survive and they will occupy office and don’t care what they represent, and then others are going to represent and be the reflection of the people they represent’‘, the artist turned politician added.

The past general elections saw three artists. Kato Lubwama for Rubaga South, Judith Babirye, Buikwe north, and Robert Kyagulanyi for Kyadondo east constituencies join the political arena. But unlike Kyagulanyi, the other two took a back seat when they made it to Uganda’s tenth parliament. Both have been heavily criticized for not taking a stand against the infamous age limit bill.

Only time will tell who among the new artists has Ugandans at heart.

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