Who is Yoweri Kaguta Museveni? Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, age, early life, wife, education, family, relationship with Mama Janet Kataha, Salim Saleh and Violet Kajubiri, Sowing the Mustard Seed, National Resistance Movement, work and experience of the current President of Uganda.
Yoweri Museveni, born Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa, is a Ugandan politician. He is the 9th and incumbent President of Uganda.
He has been leading the nation since January 29, 1986. His rise to power was after the Battle of Kampala. Due to their success, they seized Kampala and forced the Uganda National Liberation Army to withdraw.
From there, the National Resistance Movement rose to power and paved for Yoweri Museveni’s presidency.
When Museveni came to power, he envisioned upholding a democratic government and giving the people of Uganda sovereignty.
Early Life and Education
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni Tibuhaburwa was born in September 15, 1944. His hometown is in the Mbarara district, in the South Western Region of Uganda.
Yoweri Museveni and his family lead a humble life during childhood. His father, Amos Kaguta, was a cattle farmer. It was the main livelihood of the Museveni family.
President Museveni’s siblings are Salim Saleh and Violet Kajubiri, who later will be significant figures in the country of Uganda.
His early education is in Kyamate Primary School. Then he attended Mbarara High School and completed secondary education in Ntare School.
He opted to pursue a degree and enrolled in the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania in 1967. Museveni took up economics and political science.
In the university, he got exposed to Pan-African and Marxist political ideals. He completed his university studies in 1970.
The Start of his Political Passion
Yoweri Museveni’s age when he entered the university is about twenty-three years old. During his youth, he already showed traits of leadership.
Museveni organized a student activist group called University Students’ African Revolutionary Front.
He also leads a student delegation to Marxist Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO). It is a political socialist party founded by Felipe Nyusi in 1962.
President Yoweri Museveni studied under the Guyanese academic, Walter Anthony Rodney. Besides being an educator, Rodney is also a historian and a Leftist political activist.
Museveni also received military training under one of the territories of FRELIMO. As a young man, Museveni is interested in Marxism.
His university thesis covered the feasibility of
Ibrahim Frantz Fanon’s ideas about the revolutionary violence in Africa until the post-colonial period.
The Battle for Uganda’s Freedom from Idi Amin by Museveni
Mr Yoweri Museveni began working for the Ugandan government in 1970. It was during the term of President Apollo Milton Obote. During this period, the country gained independence from British Colonial rule.
However, Museveni is forced to retreat to Tanzania when Idi Amin launched the 1971 Ugandan coup d’etat. After seizing power, Amin declared himself president.
Amin is a military dictator who holds the record of the most brutal regimes in the world.
Museveni took refuge in the town of Moshi in northern Tanzania. He took the job of a lecturer. But the passion for his country is intense. He formed an opposition to match up with Amin in 1973.
It was named Front for National Salvation or FRONASA. This team had little experience and faced a lot of trouble in its early years.
To upgrade the skill of FRONASA members, they were allowed to train with FRELIMO.
Later they joined forces with the faction of Milton Obote called the Kikosi Maalum. Together they formed the Uganda National Liberation Front (UNLF). It has a military wing, Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA).
Using their collaborative strength and receiving assistance from Tanzanian forces, they manage to defeat Idi Amin in the Fall of Kampala.
Then in April 1979, Milton Obote resumed power. Museveni got delegated as defence minister. He later got promoted to the position of minister for regional cooperation.
Museveni Enters Politics
Under the reclaimed presidency of Milton Obote in 1980, Museveni created a political party.
It was named the Uganda Patriotic Movement and went against Milton Obote’s party, the Uganda People’s Congress in the general elections of December 1980.
The results were turned in favour of Obote, but Yoweri Museveni questioned it. It leads him to form the National Resistance Movement. This fraction is derived from what remained from FRONASA.
The former members of FRONASA, now named the National Resistance Movement (NRM), had political and military experience. It made them formidable foes of the incumbent government.
Since 1981, they held a guerrilla war against Obote’s leadership. The move gathered criticism, as these battles had thousands of civilian casualties.
In 1985, Tito Okello was overthrown by Obote out of power. There were peace talks between Okello and the Museveni.
There was an intervention of the Kenyan president, Daniel Arap Moi. The two parties did not resolve to an agreement.
The ceasefire stopped, and the National Resistance Movement managed to seize Kampala on January 22, 1986.
After the success of their claim to Kampala, Yoweri Museveni swore to the presidency on January 22, 1986.
The National Resistance Movement manpower became part of the national army of Museveni. The group is later renamed the Uganda People’s Defence Forces.
Museveni’s Notable Efforts as President
Under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda experienced stability in most parts of the country. Part of this is due to the country’s participation in the IMF Economy Recovery Program.
Trade and investment opportunities were created that helped the economy. There is an exception of the Nothern Region of Uganda.
The area is still plagued with armed battles between ethnic communities.
Museveni criminalized torturing as a method to obtain confessions. He believes practising it is wrong and not an effective way to reduce crime. He dubbed it as completely unnecessary.
Aside from correcting things in the justice system, the government of Museveni also faced a threatening increase of citizens affected by HIV.
However, with the efforts of the Museveni government, the infection rate declined to a lower level. Uganda is one of the first African nations to succeed in reducing the spread of AIDS.
Museveni is known for fighting against the abusive government of Idi Amin. He also lent a hand in another country inflicted by war.
Under his leadership, he participated in the civil war of Rwanda. He is a primary supporter of the political leader Paul Kagame. His efforts managed to stop the unjust massacres in Rwanda.
He feels strong for this cause as Uganda is the only African nation that agreed to prosecute the personalities involved in the Rwandan genocide.
Personal Life & Relationship
Yoweri Museveni’s family consists of his wife, Janet Kataha. They tied the knot in 1973. Janeth used to work as a flight attendant.
The couple’s union bore four children. It is composed of one son and three daughters.
The names of their offspring are Muhoozi Kainerugaba (Son), Natasha Karugire (Daughter), Patience Rwabwogo (Daugther), and Diana Kamuntu (Daughter).
Checking out Yoweri Museveni’s biography on the State House of Uganda webpage, it is mentioned that his favourite pastime is cattle herding.
It is an indication that he has not yet forgotten his humble roots. He does the activity in Kisozi and Rwakitura. He also has a personal Twitter account, where he communicates with people.
On August 5, 2020, he posted an image of himself doing push-ups. It only goes to show that despite his age, he is still very healthy.
The 2021 Ugandan Elections
President Yoweri Museveni has been in power for years. He had successfully won numerous elections. However in 2021, when Museveni is campaigning for his sixth term he encountered a youthful challenger.
The competition is a former popular singer Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. Bobi Wine has a following from the youth. It might have led Museveni to show his vitality.
He did so by encouraging workouts during the pandemic lockdown. He is filmed doing push-ups and proving he still got what it takes.
When the general elections took place on January 14, 2021, Kaguta Museveni managed to receive 58.64% of the total votes.
While his competition Bobi Wine received 35.08%. Despite the allegations of fraud, Museveni is the declared winner and kept his position.
The African nation presidents congratulated Yoweri Kaguta Museveni upon his victory. Among those are John Magufuli of Tanzania, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and the head of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan also sent his regards.
Books Written by Museveni
There are three major publications that Yoweri Kaguta Museveni got involved in.
The first book released in 1992, is titled: “What is Africa’s problem?” It talks about the volatile condition of the central states in Africa.
The second book, Sowing the Mustard Seed, was published in 1997. The publication is an autobiography of Yoweri Museveni.
It is a narrative of his experience in the guerilla war to oppose the tyranny in Uganda. It also included how he worked to achieve the nation’s freedom and democracy.
The third is a Runyankore-Rukiga thesaurus which Museveni co-authored. The other authors are Manuel Muranga, Alice Muhoozi, and Gilbert Gumoshabe.
This book aims to enrich the understanding of Bantu languages. The hardcover book has five hundred pages and was released in 2012.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has dedicated his life to Uganda. It began in his early years in the university until he became a military leader, and then president.
Though some of his actions and policies are in question by critics, it does not undermine the fact, that he bravely fought for the nation’s freedom.
And as of the moment, only time will tell what more is in store for the Ugandan leader.