Old is Gold: Museveni turns 77 today

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President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who choose September 15 as his presumed birthday turns 77 today. Whisper Eye has learnt that statehouse is organising a small private function birthday celebrations.

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” There will be a simple birthday function fr our Leader” , a source within state house told Whisper Eye .

Gen Museveni has always questioned his birthday however as years passed he settled for September 15 as his birthday, after speculation and second-person accounts supported by what he calls a number of “historical and scientific” events that took place in 1944, the year when he says he was born. 

Museveni officially turns 77 today 

Lt Gen Kainerugaba Muhoozi took to tweet to ,

 

Writing in the 2nd edition of Sowing the Mustard Seed, in 2016, Museveni says three people including his mother, Esteeri Kokundeka helped him find out details of his date of birth. Museveni says his mother said he was born “like three months before the ekikatu (the mass cattle vaccination) of ishara-matu (when the cattle’s ears were being notched).”

Museveni says a veterinary guard who took part in the exercise, helped him get the year.  “Fortunately, one of the veterinary guards that took part in that vaccination, Serugyendo (a Mufumbira from Kisoro) was still alive. He was a godsend. When I invited him to Rwakitura [Museveni’s country home], he was unequivocal. The vaccination in Ntungamo took place between the 24 and 28 of November 1944.” Since his mother had said it was like three months after before mass vaccination, Museveni said he first took August 1944 as the date of birth. But Museveni says there was another old woman who kept saying that she knew when he was born. When invited to Rwakitura, the old lady, Tophus Bwankuuku told Museveni another account.

“She told me that she and her husband lived in the parish (omuruka) next to ours; that would be a distance of eight miles away. However, her sister in law (omuramukazi) was married in the village next to ours, Ruyonjwa (two miles away or less). She had undertaken okwangama (when a woman temporarily withdraws from her husband home on account of some disagreements and goes back to her father’s or brother’s household),” Museveni says.

“When she arrived at their home in Rwenchweera, she told them that by the time she left, Kaguta’s wife had been taken to the hospital to deliver. Then after a few days, information came that Kaguta’s (Museveni’s father) wife had delivered and the month was September not August,” Museveni further recollects.

Museveni then concluded that September 15, is the most probable date of birth. Museveni was reportedly born in Mbarara hospital but he says they had no records when he crosschecked.

“What a shame for somebody who was born in a government hospital to fail to know his date of birth, all on the account of faulty record-keeping and storage.”

Museveni never laboured to write about his date of birth in the first edition of Sowing the Mustard Seed which was first published in 1997.

In the recent years, Museveni has been having low profile events to mark his birthday either in church or with the family. In 2015, Museveni celebrated his birthday by attending morning prayers at Mount Zion Prayer Centre, Bukalango and in 2016 he shared a cake with his family.

In 2017 in August, Museveni celebrated his 70th baptism day at St Luke Church of Uganda, Kinoni archdeaconry in Rwampara, Mbarara district. According to church records disclosed during the celebration, Museveni was baptized on August 3, 1947, with his mother and father.

Opposition politicians have for a long time contested Museveni’s probable date of Museveni, arguing that he under-reported his age. In 2011 for instance, Democratic Party youth wing – Uganda Young Democrats wanted to organize a birth party for Museveni claiming that he was born on December 4, 1937.

First part reporting by the Observer


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