Bobi Wine: Sobi was My Old Ghetto Friend who Later Turned Against Me!

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By Lawrence Mayanja

Social media today woke up with a photo of Bobi Wine with Sobi in their good days some many years ago. 

It’s either this photo which was circulating like a wild fire or the old attachment Bobi Wine had with Sobi that prompted him to write something about him.

Sobi and Bobi Wine in a photo which was taken many years ago.

The Principal of the National Unity Platform, Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu did not deny Sobi, as he acknowledged that he was indeed his old friend, though he turned against him at a later stage.

Kyagulanyi has described the murdered notorious city robber and serial killer Paddy Sserunjogi as an idiot and a fool who thought he was one of the ruling regime agents.

He was narrating his last encounter with Sobi whom he said that he (Sobi) had joined a Mafia clique that tormented everyone.

Bobi Wine said that Paddy Sserunjogi got his nickname ‘Sobi from the then trending movie “THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM SOBIBOR”.

In an interview with NBS TV’s Zambali Blasio Mukasa, Sobi confirmed he was hired to kill and accomplish important missions on behalf of top Government officials.

Sobi met his death on December 18, 2023 at around 12:30pm at the land the allegedly belongs to one Kalisa of the same area at Kibaale village in Kigumba parish, Maddu sub-county in Gomba district. A group of around 50 people armed with sticks, pangas and spears attacked another group of people who claimed the same land belongs to them and led to the end of Sobi’s life.

In an X Tweet, Bobi Wine had this to say:

“THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM SOBIBOR,” he said braggartly as he moved out of a wood and tin video hall in the Ghettos of Kisenyi, back in the late 90s.

The trending movie then was called ‘Escape from Sobibor,’ a story of a concentration camp called Sobibor in Nazi Germany in the 1940’s that saw thousands of Jews oppressed and killed. He therefore nicknamed himself Sobibor. However, over the years, the name was shortened to Sobbi.

During some of our engagements in clubs and dance halls or whenever we met at various boxing events or gyms, he would flash his trademark knuckle which looked like a small stone placed at the back of his finger. “Sobi alina knuckle elinga dduulu,” we would joke.

Despite his gangster character, he was my friend for so many years. He would privately, and sometimes publicly talk about how he was always used by senior government officials to commit crimes like robberies and land grabs on their behalf only to be imprisoned alone.

Like many talented boxers of my generation have been used against their people only to be eliminated when they are no longer needed, Sobi faced the same fate.
During the 2021 elections, he was used to trail and harass me, his own, old Ghetto friend.

He conducted the abduction and disappearance of over 50 of our friends, including fellow boxers like Vegas Lubega.

Some of these who were lucky to return, narrated the ordeal they went through at Lwamayuba island in Kalangala where they were kept incommunicado; tortured, and treated as slaves for over a year.

They spoke of how some were summarily executed and fed to crocodiles. Many of them have never been seen again. All this time, he was working under Kaka Bagyenda, then the head of ISO.

When I last met Sobi about 6 months ago (he reached out to me), he told me that he was doing all this dirty regime work because it was his only way to stay alive. “Bro, you know I have no problem with you but if I don’t take their orders, they will eliminate me,” he told me.

I reminded him of Zebra who was gunned down, Abdul Kitatta who was imprisoned, Isma Ichuli who was killed, and many others who have been used and later eliminated by the same regime.
I told him that after being used, he would be eliminated in the most disgraceful manner.

“You will never be one of them, and they will never love you.” I told him. “They will use you against your own people and after your people have hated you enough, they will get rid of you like a useless piece of rubbish.”

He even complained about the many people he started with but because of their connections in the regime, they had long been promoted to big offices leaving him to stay doing the dirty street work.

I asked him to name just one person from this region who has been used against his or her people that ended up well but he couldn’t name even one. I told him to expect nothing but the worst ending.

When I saw his body lying down like a dead dog, I remembered these words. Sobi was a fool to think that he was one of them.

Unfortunately, THEY NEVER LEARN!”

Sobi’s Self-Confession

Sobi, previously associated with criminal activities and the Kifeesi gang terrorizing Kampala, made a shocking confession in 2017, admitting his involvement in numerous crimes.

Despite claims of transitioning into a police informant during Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura’s tenure as Inspector General of Police (IGP), Sobi continued his controversial activities, commanding ‘safe houses’ in Kyengera in Wakiso, and Kalangala district and allegedly being involved in land grabbing missions.

Alex Odwori, who was subjected to inhumane treatment at Kalangala islands under Sobi’s command was among those who petitioned Parliament and President Museveni seeking for intervention because many people were ‘rotting incommunicado.’

Sobi’s actions contributed to the fight between Gen. Kayihura and then Security Minister Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde whereby the latter accused the former of knowing and protecting gangs terrorizing Ugandans.

Even when Museveni dropped Gen. Kayihura and Col. Kaka, Sobi did not relent. He instead immersed himself in hired land-grabbing operations where he could threaten Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), District Police Commanders (DPCs), and OC stations.

The writer is an investigative Journalist

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