Singer Ronald Mayinja has angered some of his fans by producing a promotional song for President Yoweri Museveni.
But the singer has hit back by saying the anger and curses he has been subjected to especially from the People Power camp, is misguided and unjustified.
To many Ugandans, Mayinja, was until now, one of the harshest critics of President Yoweri Museveni’s government, a reputation he built through years of producing anti-government songs.
During last year’s Catherine Kusaasira’s concert at Serena, Mayinja had the audacity to sing his Bizeemu song, in the face of President Museveni who was the chief guest.
The song describes the return to the dark old days of torture, murder and, disappearence of people.
Since Mayinja’s Muzeeyi Akalulu Kako, song hit the airwaves a few days ago, there has been heated debate in social circles as to whether Mayinja had switched support from the opposition to NRM.
Speaking to Spark TV, Mayinja said he has suffered unimaginable abuses from social media that he has given the platforms a break for now.
Mayinja insists he retains his full right to do business with whoever is willing to meet his cost.
“Supporters of president Museveni called me and told me to do an advert for their candidate. I charged them a lot of money but they were willing to pay. I accepted to do the advert and this has not changed my conviction as a person,” Mayinja said.
“Unfortunately, I am being roasted as a sellout by many people. Most people don’t even care that I have a right to do business even during these harsh times of lockdown when concerts are banned.”
The singer appealed to opposition supporters to understand that he has done a lot for them, by singing critical songs about the government, for which he deserves respect not scorn.
“I have done a lot of songs for the opposition without pay. Now that I’ve done an advert for Museveni, I am being roasted. This is unfair,” Mayinja said.
Some people have sympathized with Mayinja by saying he has the right to make money, regardless of his political views.
Fellow musician Sophie Gombya, who is also the former President of Uganda Musicians Association (UMA) argues that it would be okay, even if Mayinja had chosen to switch allegiance.
“Mayinja is a grown-up who is at liberty to support which ever idea or party that seems appealing to him,” she noted.
Despite Mayinja’s insistence that he separates his views from his business, the advert could have a lasting negative impact on his career, going by the experience of musicians who have dared eat Museveni’s money.
As Jotham Kaweesa, a cobbler along Dewinton road in Kampala observed, Mayinja is hiding behind business claims to sugarcoat his support for Museveni.
“Mayinja should not really not fool us us to that extent. It’s clear he has been an NRM cadre and was looking for an excuse to announce his real intentions,” says Kaweesa.
Others are still sympathetic to Mayinja and argue that he might have done the song out of pressure from the government.
One Boda Boda cyclist only identified as Ronald observes that the singer was simply non business.
“They must have given him a lot of money but I believe deep down he does not support NRM,” said the Boda guy.
Jacob Mutooro, another Boda Boda cyclist says Mayinja is no an enjoy when it comes to taking advantage of a big opportunity.
“Let’s not Judge the man, we all love money,” said Mutooro.
But whatever happens, the diehard supporters of change, insist that whether or not Mayinja sold his soul will not distract them from calling for change.