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Museveni: I Haven’t Cooked Since I Married Janet

President Yoweri Museveni, thanks to tradition, has not been in a kitchen in over 45 years.

Ever since he married his wife Janet, the president confessed this week, he has never prepared a plate of food.

Of course as President and formally as leader of a revolution, Mr Museveni is a busy man and he has been for a long time.

But for a man who has devoted a good part of his leadership to empowering Ugandan women to shake off traditional restraints and overcome poverty and disease, his confession might come off as disappointing to some women and progressives.

In a statement in support of his financial support to youthfully entrepreneurs in Kampala, Museveni came clean; “It is now 45 years with Maama Janet, I have never stepped in the kitchen.”

The president sited a Runyankore saying; “Nyineeka taza mukiyungu” which translates, “the head of the home never goes into the kitchen.

“That is how it should be,” he emphasized.

This was part of his argument that political leaders should not be involved in the work of civil servants such has handling government money.

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“Once the President is involved in programmes concerning money, then it must be the State House Comptroller to handle the money. It is government money,” Museveni said.

President Museveni a few years ago launched a fund targeting women in rural areas.

The Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP), he said, was meant to help women who are held back by family chores and responsibilities, to start their own small economic activities to become independent of their husbands.

According to experts, women in Uganda are still treated mostly as second-class citizens both in the public and private spheres.

Traditionally, house work is extremely gendered with wives expected to care for the children, prepare meals, do laundry, clean the house, tend to crops and even work outside of the home for additional income.

Meanwhile, men aren’t expected to take nearly as much responsibility for their children, yet they’re considered the primary financial providers and heads of the household.

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