Over the years on Uganda’s Political stage, various politicians have always created slogans ahead of their campaigns. These slogans are created to draw people’s attention towards a particular candidate or political party so that their message is accepted and therefore are voted into positions of leadership. These Slogans can either be put in songs or just left in statement form.
The Oxford Advanced Dictionary defines a ’Slogan’ as ‘a short and striking or memorable phrase used in advertising and by a Political party. It is therefore through slogans that Political parties and politicians can touch the hearts of the populace to see that they convince them into voting for them.
Therefore, in this piece, I explore some of the most popular slogans that have been used by Politicians in the past 25 years. My question is, ‘Do they change anything or simply maintain the status quo?’
In 1996, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni came up with a slogan called ‘No Change.’ After ten years in leadership since he captured power in 1986, Museveni was rallying Ugandans not to change leadership and that they should maintain him in power.
He later won his main opponent, Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere in a highly contested election. The opposition criticized this slogan by saying that President Museveni in fact meant that there Is no change to Poverty, disease, and war. The government trashed this claim.
At the onset of the 2001 General elections, fallen Kampala City Mayor, Alhajji Nasser Ntege Ssebaggala was one of the most popular opposition figures here in Uganda. Ssebaggala tried to stand for the presidency but he failed due to his inadequate academic qualifications which could not allow him to contest and as such, he was not nominated.
Ssebaggala then told his supporters to vote for Dr. Kizza Besigye who had just defected from Government. Hence his supporters said that ‘Hajji Alagidde’ meaning Hajji has ordered us to vote for Besigye and as such Besigye would go on to be the biggest competitor against Museveni but he lost the election to Museveni.
In 2006, four-time Ugandan Presidential contender Dr. Warren Smith Kizza Besigye KIfefe once again stood for Presidency for the second time since 2001. This time around, he came up with a slogan of ‘Ajja Kugenda,’ meaning that Museveni will have to get out of Power.
Besigye made his supporters believe that indeed Museveni was going to lose the election and go back to his farm in Rwakitura. Besigye even went on to tell the People of Masaka that they were lucky because they would see Museveni pass by them leaving the statehouse for good. Besigye lost this election but it became the most contested election in the history of Uganda.
Fast forward to 2017, the Democratic Party came up with a slogan called, ‘Togikwatako’ meaning ‘Don’t touch it,’ in reference to the constitution. Here, the Democratic Party was cautioning the government not to change the constitution to allow Museveni to stand again for President.
This was the most popular slogan ever invented by the opposition in Uganda as people across the region rallied together to see that President Museveni doesn’t stand again. However, Museveni stood and was declared winner in 2021, still in an election that is still contested.
PEOPLE POWER, OUR POWER.
Singer cum Politician – Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Aias Bobi Wine came into Parliament with his slogan called ‘People Power.’ Here, he maintained that power belongs to the people. This attracted so many youths to support him.
They created red headbands and red berets with overalls, similar to Julius Malema’s party, the Economic Freedom Fighters Party of South Africa. This slogan gave birth to a Pressure group and later to a Political party called the National Unity Platform [NUP].
In 2019 and 2020, leading opposition figure Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu came up with a slogan dubbed ‘Funa Ndagamuntu’ meaning Get yourself a National ID. Here Bobi Wine urged Ugandans to simply get National IDs so that they can vote for him in 2021 because according to him, many people didn’t vote due to lack of these cards and as such, this had kept Museveni in power for long
‘BIKWASE KYAGULANYI’ was the political slogan that brought Bobi Wine to Uganda’s political scene. He released a song known as Bikwase Kyagulanyi that saw him win the Kyadondo member of parliament seat with a landslide victory. Until now, the Bikwase Kyagulanyi slogan has been the most successful political slogan in the recent past of Uganda’s politics.
The Bikwase Kyagulanyi slogan gave birth to the people power movement which was centered around Bobi wine.
ENTEBBE MU NTEBE.
During the 2021 elections, Bobi Wine promised to lead his supporters to Victory and finally take them to State House in the chair of the Presidency, hence the Slogan ‘Entebbe mu Ntebe.’
Many people got hyped up with this slogan as they indeed believed that these were the last minutes of Museveni in State House. All this did not happen as Museveni was still declared the winner.
WE ARE REMOVING A DICTATOR.
Having not been declared winner in the 2021 General elections, Bobi Wine and his party members coined another slogan saying that they are removing a dictator from power. Here they intend to dislodge General Museveni who has been president for 36 years now. However, how they [NUP and Robert Kyagulanyi are intending to remove this dictator, the methods they are using, what time it will take them to complete this mission is still speculative and known only by them.
YES WE CAN.
This is one of the most successful Political slogans as it saw the very first black Person, Hussein Barrack Obama become President of America in 2008. Obama rallied his supporters and the black people that indeed ‘YES WE CAN,’ and many believed that they actually can do it, and boom, victory came their way.
In conclusion, these Political slogans are useful to politicians. However, they have largely helped Members of Parliament to win seats but as for the Top Seat of the president, it is still an uphill task.