A Seed on Good Soil or a Seed on Rocks: Museveni’s Contestations with Democracy in Sowing the Mustard Seed

Stephen Muthoka Mutie, Nelly Nzula Kitonga, Anthony Somba Mang’oka


This paper discusses Yoweri Museveni’s Sowing the Mustard Seed and argues that he uses this literary text to construct identities of him as a nationalist leader. In his autobiography he guides the reader to approach it, not as a scheme to glorify himself, but as an insight into true leadership. However, this paper reveals that Museveni is the quintessential politician determined to retain power using any means available to him, including likening himself to Jesus Christ, the fêted sower. The paper argues, Sowing the Mustard Seed, is Museveni’s scheme to hold onto power. It hinges on the thinking that Museveni’s rereading of Fanon is faulty and malicious. Although he draws from Biblical parables and imagery, this paper hints that Museveni’s seed might have fallen on rocks and arguably has failed to sprout. He fictionalizes Ugandan history in his autobiography through the use of several stylistic devices to portray himself as a Che Guevera of Uganda, a revolutionary saviour of a dilapidated state. Museveni conceptualises democracy in Uganda through the parable of the mustard seed. By anchoring the title of his autobiography on the Bible, Museveni hopes to create an intellectual space whereby the readers may view him as the sower who sows the seed of democracy in Uganda.

Keywords: democracy, yoweri museveni, parable, saviour, jesus christ

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