State House has described as “diversionary,” the suspicions that spread fast Monday morning on social media, that President Yoweri was setting stage for bypassing the Constitutional Presidential Age Limit to run again in 2021.
The State House Sunday evening shared on Facebook photos of the President and First Lady Janet crosschecking his baptism records at St Luke Kinoni Church of Uganda in Rwampara, Mbarara district.
The records at the Church, which back then was in Mbarara District, show that Museveni was baptized on August 3, 1947 by the late Rev Eric Sabiti; who was later to become the first archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga Zaire.
The Facebook post however, was quickly shared and interpreted variously, with skeptics bringing the timing of this event into question.
Some people on social media suggested this was a step for the President to adjust his known birthday of August 15, 1944, to make him less than 75 years come 2021.
Former leader of Opposition Wafula Oguttu termed the move as “sickening manipulations,” while Jaffar Amin, son of former President Idi Amin described it as a “Justice Kavuma Syndrome.”
Whoever is doing this for Mr president, the easiet way to lie to the nation bewitche all the older people who saw him in early 1945
— #FriendsForever? (@alrichie4) August 6, 2017
President Museveni for a better part of his 3 decade reign denied knowledge of his birthday.
But the president’s press secretary Linda Nabusayi, when contacted this morning allayed the social media fears, stating that the president has no intentions of adjusting his birthday.
Nabusayi termed the social media frenzy as diversionary.
“Is he denying that he was born in 1944?” she wondered. “He was born in 1944 and baptized in 1947. The records are there.”
On the timing of the event, Nabusayi said Museveni was only invited by the church.
“The president was celebrating his baptism; is that wrong? That is the same church that his father and mother got married from and that was where he was baptized,” she said.
“There was a fundraising at the church and they invited him. It was a big thing for him.”
Senior Press Secretary Don Wanyama also felt the urge to chip in on the matter in a singular tweet.
— Don Wanyama (@nyamadon) August 7, 2017
Speaking at the end of the church service, according to State House, Museveni informed the congregation that the reason he was interested in commemorating this day was so that he would share his history, especially with the youth.
“My mother was the pioneer in joining the church, at time when our family was predominantly aligned to traditional beliefs. By this act of Baptism, my mother and father were pioneering in Christianity, as we were leaving traditional religion,” he said.
“Secondly, I have come to re-energise and emphasise the fact that the Church and other religious institutions build a person’s character. Religious instruction enables you to navigate through life. To know what is evil and what is right, what is good and what is bad.
Societies that have abandoned religion, have not fared well,” he added.