Politics and Society
Uganda: Museveni donates his autobiography – ‘Sowing the Mustard Seed’ to schools
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has directed the Ministry of Education to distribute copies of the second edition of his autobiography, ‘Sowing the Mustard Seed’ as a gift to government secondary schools to promote a proper understanding, appreciation and loyalty to Uganda’s national identity. The first edition of the book was based on series of interviews with British historian. In the second edition, Museveni accounts the history of the struggle to liberate Uganda from dictators.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has donated copies of his second edition autobiography ‘Sowing The Mustard Seed’ to the Ministry of Education. The books will be disseminated to state secondary schools to teach learners Museveni’s life struggle and journey to the presidency. Museveni personally wrote the second edition.
In the book, Museveni talks about his early childhood, education, family and the struggle to liberate the country. The first edition was published in 1997, followed by a revised edition in 2007 to fill the gaps in the early edition.
A statement by the Ministry of Education and Sports, which is also headed by the First Lady Janet Museveni said that the book is expected to promote a proper understanding, appreciation and loyalty to Uganda’s national identity in a bid to foster peace and national cohesion for development.
According to the circular, the book recalls the historical background of the Ugandans troubled national history, subsequent liberation and path to national recovery.
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“You are therefore required to ensure that the book is readily available to all students and you are also urged to encourage students to read the book,” the statement reads.
The opposition objection
A joint statement by the opposition politicians has objected the distribution of Museveni’s book to young Ugandans, arguing that the initiative is an indoctrination project by president Museveni and an attempt to brainwash the young students to perceive history of Uganda in the Museveni’s lenses.
The opposition has insisted that the Uganda’s revolution seems unfinished as those who claim to have finished the revolution have not lived to people’s expectations.
According to the opposition, the picture in ‘sowing the mustard seed’ shows a generation that took to the bush because they wanted to change the status quo. However, Museveni’s prolonged stay in power given his condemnation of the same in 1986 is seen by many as problematic.
Sowing the Mustard Seed
The second edition is a historical account of the struggle for freedom and democracy in Uganda, it gives details about the 1981-85 guerrilla war led by President Museveni.
It provides an insider’s account of the years following Idi Amin’s overthrow in 1979, the country’s contested first general election in 1980, and the launch of Museveni led guerrilla war to fight against Milton Obote’s sectarian dictatorship.
The book highlights how the war of liberation started in February 1981 with only 27 guns, and how the National Resistance Movement and Army eventually took power in January 1986 and began the arduous task of rebuilding a shattered nation.
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The author, President Museveni, takes the reader on a tell-all journey of the sacrifices that he and other young Ugandans decided to make in order to liberate their country from the jaws of helplessness to which the first post-independence governments had conspired to consign it.
Museveni said he was also inspired into writing his own story after a 2013 meeting with Gen Martin Dempsey, the U.S. chairman of Joint Chief of Staff.
“When I came back I decided to write the book and see if a new person would get the message. I didn’t want any mix-up and deviation. This time, I said I must write it myself because when they edit, they destroy,” President Museveni told the Daily Monitor during the launch of the second edition.