Sadat Kobye, a bodaboda rider from Mafubira ward in Jinja city has long abandoned his job of ferrying passengers and instead resorted to traversing different villages while rallying masses to vote for National Unity Platform’s-NUP presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi during tomorrow’s general election.
The father of three currently runs his family on tips from well wishers who feel impressed with his message. “People give me tangible items like posho, beans, rice and at times money which I use to buy fuel and reserve part of it for my children’s daily upkeep when I am away,” he says.
Seeing Sadat dressed in clerical-like garments while holding a Luganda version Bible and quoting some verses as he rallies passersby to vote for Kyagulanyi, one would mistake him for a religious preacher. But his gospel is a political one.
Kobye who has since earned himself the name of “Pastor wa NUP,” among his peers as he continuously likens Kyagulanyi to a God-sent leader, starts off his day at around 7:00am every morning, making stopovers in several trading centers in Jinja city and Jinja district as he encourages residents to elect his preferred presidential candidate.
He has also branded his motorcycle with NUP colors and also party slogans which easily attracts his target audience of mainly youth and women to make stopovers as they listen in to his message.
Kobye who derives his message from the biblical scripture of Exodus; 18:21 which states that; “Furthermore, you shall select from all the people, competent men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain, you shall place these over the people as leaders of thousands, fifties and of tens,” says that, quoting biblical teachings has lessened the work of reaching out to a number people, as his message lacks derogatory language against Kyagulanyi’s opponents. In stead, his continuous pledge (on behalf of Kyagulanyi) is of transforming the economic livelihoods of the people.
Kobye is confident that if elected as the country’s president, Kyagulanyi will foster social economic transformation of the urban poor.
His elder brother Ashiraf Budhugo says that Kobye’s support for Kyagulanyi has placed him at logger heads with security operatives who often arrest him whenever there are demonstrations within the city.
“His love for Kyagulanyi is uncontrollable, it has resulted into his frequent arrests during protests as security operatives often pick him from home, accusing him of masterminding or having knowledge of all civil disobedience movements but later release him without any charges,” says his brother.