Officials from the Uganda Meritocracy Party (UMP) have revealed that they have no problem with Kyadondo East Member of Parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine using ‘their’ People Power slogan. They say that Bobi Wine has met with them and accepted that the slogan that he popularized legally belongs to them.
“We have been meeting with him and we allowed him to use our slogan because his championing the interests that we will also be promoting. He accepted his mistake and he says that he knows the owners of the slogan people power in Uganda. He is very much aware of that. We met him as gentlemen and told him that we are the owners, love it or hate it,” the Party’s Acting Vice President and Spokesperson Ouma Simon Peter said in an interview with Uganda Radio Network.
Bobi Wine’s meteoric rise on the political scene in the past two years has earned him global recognition. A red beret, an overall and people power chants is the basic definition of Bobi Wine, the politician.
Often, during his campaign rallies and other political activities, Kyagulanyi has emphasized that “the power of the people is much stronger than the people in power, a quote first attributed to Egyptian Internet activist and computer engineer Wael Ghonim; the “keyboard freedom fighter, who became famous during the 2011 pro-democracy demonstrations which ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
But the same People Power Slogan used by Kyagulanyi was registered by the Uganda Meritocracy Party in 2016. The party, which is not known to many Ugandans, is now preparing to launch countrywide activities and is holding talks with Bobi Wine over the slogan.
The party was swift to warn Uganda Registration Service Bureau (URSB) and events manager Balaam Barugahare when news emerged that he had registered a charity organisation called people power. But Balaam denied the reports.
“It has come to our attention that Balaam Barugahare one of the businessmen in Kampala has registered a non-government organisation in the name of people power and has immediately threatened any individual/group who attempts to use the above name dire consequences,” the party acting secretary for legal affairs, Wambogo David said in a letter dated January 19.
It is at this point that he stated that people power is a reserved and gazetted slogan of Uganda Meritocracy Party (UMP) as per the laws pertaining registration of political parties.
Wambogo says that the letter was a reminder to Balaam that he did not have a monopoly over the words People Power because the slogan had already been registered. He says they don’t want to be seen as if they are fighting Bobi Wine, who already acknowledged in their meetings that he was using their slogan.
He added that the talks with Bobi Wine, are going on and Ugandans will soon be informed of the final outcome.
The party founders seem to be a bunch of youth who remain evasive on questions of their operations. The URN reporter met the acting party leaders at City House, Kampala and they promised to unveil the party office by end of February.
“We are young people from eastern, northern, central and western regions of Uganda. We have come together to determine public policy and win elections. Restoring the lost glory and pride of the pearl of Africa is our priority,” the party brochure reads.