KAMPALA – Former Ugandan sports journalist Joseph Kabuleta is running for president of his country in next year’s general elections.
Kabuleta is a former Editor of Sports at the New Vision Newspaper, Uganda’s leading daily and, from 2002 to 2006, was also president of the Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA), an affiliate of AIPS.
Although Kabuleta was still working in sports broadcasting on a part-time basis until 2018, it was clear that he had developed an interest in politics and used his social media handles to write opinions criticizing government corruption and nepotism, and calling for an equitable distribution of Uganda’s wealth among the citizens.
His scathing opinions landed the former scribe in trouble with the government. In July 2019, Kabuleta was picked up by plain-clothed security agents from a Café in Kampala where he was having an evening cup of coffee and was whisked away to an unknown destination. But after the pressure mounted via the mainstream media and social media, police would later disclose his whereabouts and eventually gave his family and lawyers access to him.
Kabuleta has also become notorious for his whistle blower-style Facebook posts dubbed ‘Joseph Kabuleta Weekly Rants’ in which he sharply criticizes the government of Uganda for its corruption, gross mismanagement of resources and covert operations that he believes undermine the prosperity of Ugandans.
On July 8, 2019, Joseph Kabuleta posted a ‘weekly rant’ on Facebook titled “Mafia Empire and the Transition” where he condemned a purported move by President Yoweri Museveni to make his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, his successor.
He was charged with “annoying the person of the President” under a recently enacted Compute Misuse Act. After four nights in detention, he was released on police bond.
Kabuleta’s campaign slogan of ‘financial liberation’ focuses on improving the livelihood of Ugandans, many of whom live in abject poverty.
Kabuleta now joins a list of many other candidates, including Kyadondo East MP and artist Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi (aka Bobi Wine), political commentator Charles Rwamushana and former spymaster Lt. Gen. Tumukunde, who have announced their bids to unseat President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, who has been in power for 34 years.
The elections are slated for January 2021.