Uganda customs impounds Museveni biography

October 11, 2010 12:00 am

, KAMPALA, Oct 11 – Ugandan authorities impounded 500 copies of a new book critical of President Yoweri Museveni to investigate whether the content could cause "social disorder," an official told AFP Monday.

Copies of "The Correct Line? Uganda under Museveni" had been shipped from a UK publisher last Tuesday. The book is authored by Olive Kobusingye, whose brother, Kizza Besigye, is challenging Museveni in elections next year.

"I wouldn\’t call it confiscation," said Sarah Birungi Banage, spokeswoman for the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), confirming the customs department has taken possession of the texts.

"Under customs law we have the right to investigate what kind of material is in the book and whether it will cause social disorder."

Banage added that while URA is conducting its own investigation, "police has also taken an interest in the books."

Kobusingye said the book is a comparison between the president\’s rhetoric and action in areas like human rights and democracy.

"I went back into President Museveni\’s writings and compared that against what has happened in this country," she told AFP.

Museveni, in a number of texts published shortly after his rebel group captured power in 1986, wrote about the importance of accountable democracy in Africa.

The president has since won three general elections and will contest in a fourth vote next year, but rights groups, political opponents and Uganda\’s Supreme Court have criticised the integrity of those polls.

"I think it\’s crazy in this day and age for the government to think it can control what the people read," Kobusingye said.

The book was published by AuthorHouse and can be bought on-line.

Banage said customs officials only received a formal request for their release on Friday and needed time to conclude their inquiry. Kobusingye has scheduled a formal launch in Kampala on Wednesday.


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