Does the current trend of mob action in public justify Bobi Wine’s public court (Koti ya’abantu) rhetoric?


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Of late, the Ugandan community has witnessed a new political trend where funeral and wedding ceremonies are being used as political battlefields by most politicians especially those opposing the current government.

As citizens, we have witnessed grisly confrontations where opposition activists especially those leaning to the National Unity Platform and pro-government politicians. The People Power/NUP activists have made it a habit to use public events such as funerals and weddings to attack and assault those who are opposed to their political approach.

At first it was in Bududa at the home of the opposition chief whip in parliament Hon. John Baptist Nambeshe. The youths subscribing to people power/NUP attacked and pelted stones at security personnel who were at the burial to ensure safety of persons and property.

The same trend followed the burial ceremony of local musician Mathias Walukaga’s father in Kalungu district earlier this year. The mob of NUP supporters chased away local musicians Catherine Kusasira and Big Eye under unjustified circumstances.

Given their political belief, Kusasira and Big Eye couldn’t be allowed to access the mourners’ tent by the mob of NUP supporters who were throwing water bottles and stones at them.

The recent and most ugly incident happened in Kadunda, Kisimula parish, Kapeeka sub-county where a mob of NUP supporters assaulted almost to death a renowned NRM supporter Kamuntu Majembere. It was so inhumane for the mob to beat up someone just because he doesn’t share the same political ideas with them. What is most a shaming is that there was a cheering team and commentators reading the incident but couldn’t save Majembere from a mob action.

This political intolerance is narrowing the political environment and threatens the democratic doctrines. This intolerance among some section of citizens, calls for the need to respect divergent views because if left unchecked could escalate into the state of lawlessness.

Now to any right thinking person, what did Bobi Wine mean by public court? Could it be the mob action perpetrated by his supporters? Anyway allow me pose this question to you since we have resorted to the public court “Koti ya’abantu”

It should be noted that Bobi Wine in February last year while addressing his supporters at the party headquarters in Kamwokya, he requested them to use public court in order to get justice instead of using the established judicial system. This followed the withdrawal of the presidential election petition in the Supreme Court on claims of bias.

To quote his own words, Mr. Wine said: “We are not going to be part of that mockery. The next step is to take the matter to the public court.” If the public court exists as claimed by Bobi Wine, where does it derive its powers and how is it exercised? Is it established by the Constitution or by Bobi Wine himself?

Maybe he knows better but whichever case it maybe, Bobi Wine is forgetting that he is raising cobras in own potato plantation without considering the consequences if unchecked.

“Koti Yabantu” can mean anything starting from mob-justice to taking the law in one’s hand or could even mean lawlessness. The irony is the doctrine of human Rights which Bobi Wine and NUP repeatedly sounds, opposes ideas like the public court. It is easy to preach but to do what you preach is usually for another day.

That is why we have pastors raping and police officers stealing! That is why we have NUP supporters violating human rights while fighting for ‘their rights’ and have the audacity to issue a statement justifying and blindly defending themselves against the incident that happened at Jakana Nadduli’s burial.

The writer was a witness of the scuffle at Jakana Naduli’s burial in Kapeeka on 24th October 2022.




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