Tweeps both in Uganda and other countries since 2011 have been suggesting that a Nobel Prize be awarded to opposition leader, Kizza Besigye.
The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in a number of categories by Swedish and Norwegian committees in recognition of academic, cultural and/or scientific advances.
The will of the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes in 1895.
The prizes are awarded in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine.
The prize is not awarded posthumously; however, if a person is awarded a prize and dies before receiving it, the prize may still be presented.
Besigye for Nobel Prize?
On March 1, 2016, a Kenyan tweep Cardinal Richelieu @roomthinker tweeted: “Surely Besigye should be in the running for the next Nobel Peace prize.”
Quoting the tweet, Sura Mbaya @surambaya suggested: “Can someone in Uganda please nominate Kizza Besigye for the Nobel Prize. That would speak volumes.”
The first person to suggest this was Rosebell Kagumire @RosebellK [a multimedia, digital strategist, peace and conflict, women’s rights activist] in 2011 following the walk-to-work riots.
In response George Bankole @Snottyganda on 18 May 2011 responded to @RosebellK saying: “U kiddin me Besigye Nobel Peace Prize WoW! that is mega.”
The topic was reawakened on October 11, 2012 by Derek Nseko @duke_of_cool who tweeted: “If Morgan Tsvangirai is a Nobel Prize nominee, shouldn’t Kiiza Besigye too?”
Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is a Zimbabwean politician who was Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 2009 to 2013.
He is President of the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and a key figure in the opposition to President Robert Mugabe.
The Nobel topic continued in November 2013 when Omwanawomwanawomuntu @EtwinoEnoq tweeted: “If Uganda had a Nobel Personality awards, who would you vote and why? What category as well? Would Museveni or Besigye feature in any category?”
It resurfaced in 2015 and then recently in February and March 2016.
Does Besigye qualify?
Warren Kizza Besigye Kifefe (born 22 April 1956), commonly known as Kizza Besigye, is a Ugandan physician, politician, and former military officer in the Uganda People’s Defence Force.
He served as the president of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) political party and was an unsuccessful candidate in Uganda’s 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016 presidential elections, losing all of them to the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, who has been President of Uganda since 26 January 1986.
He allowed an early internal FDC election for a successor president, which took place on 24 November 2012.
His is famous for the 2011 walk-to-work riots that prompted government to address rising food prices following the election which he lost to President Museveni.
He has stood four times for the presidency [2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016] losing all four times to the incumbent.
Besigye was responsible for the guerillas’ health and particularly attended to the chairman, Yoweri Museveni, during the 1980–1986 National Resistance Army (NRA) guerilla rebellion against Milton Obote’s government.
When Museveni became president in 1986, Besigye, then aged 29, was appointed Minister of State for Internal Affairs.
In 1988, he was appointed Minister of State in the President’s office and National Political Commissar.
In 1991, he became Commanding Officer of the Mechanised Regiment in Masaka, and in 1993 he became Chief of Logistics and Engineering.
Before his retirement from the army shortly before the 2001 elections, Besigye had risen to the rank of colonel and was a Senior Military Adviser to the Ministry of Defence.
Prior the 2001 presidential elections, Besigye had become an opponent of Museveni’s National Resistance Movement “no-party” system of government, saying that he believed the leadership was “incorrigibly off course” and that “someone had to step in and get things back on course”.
He advocated for the “Movement System to be viewed as, and to remain a transitional arrangement, rather than entrench it as an alternative political system”.
Besigye opposed the re-introduction of the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill into the 9th Parliament of Uganda by back bench MP David Bahati.
Besigye’s support of gay rights was a contentious issue in Uganda where homosexuality was already criminal as per the Ugandan Penal Code (Gender References Amendment Act).
He has been arrested several times with the latest record being nine times in 11 days.
While tweeps suggest Besigye for a Nobel, they do not name what specific prize he would be awarded.
Africans with Nobels
Blacks have been the recipients in three of six award categories: eleven in Peace, two in Literature, and one in Economics.
The first black recipient, Ralph Bunche, was awarded the Peace Prize in 1950.
The most recent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, were awarded their Peace prizes in 2011.
Three black laureates —Anwar Sadat, Barack Obama and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf— were presidents of their countries when they were awarded the prize.
Others include; Albert John Luthuli from South Africa [Peace], Martin Luther King Jr from United States [Peace ], Anwar El Sadat from Egypt [Peace], Sir William Arthur Lewis from Saint Lucia- West Indian [Economics], Desmond Tutu from South Africa [Peace], Wole Soyinka from Nigeria [Literature], Derek Walcott from Saint Lucia [Literature], Toni Morrison from United States [Literature], the late Nelson Mandela from South Africa [Peace], Kofi Annan from Ghana [Peace] and Wangari Maathai from Kenya [Peace].
No Ugandan has ever won any form of Nobel Prize.