For the first time in the six years she has represented Ruhaama county in Parliament, First Lady Janet Kainembabazi Kataaha Museveni has, in her own words, explained her foray into politics. Janet stirred public uproar in 2005 when she announced her intentions to challenge FDCs Augustine Ruzindana for the Ruhaama county seat. Many people felt it was her husbands way of perpetuating nepotism, a charge President Museveni dislikes so much that he was forced to come out publicly to say he had been opposed to his wife joining politics. Three years later, however, Museveni stoked the same allegations when he appointed his wife minister of state for Karamoja Affairs, a portfolio he upgraded to a full cabinet post in his most recent cabinet appointments. Writing in her newly published memoirs, My Lifes Journey, which was launched at the Kampala Serena Hotel yesterday, Janet says: Of all the things I thought I would do in my life, getting involved in active politics was never on my list. Having been married to a freedom fighter and political activist and living through the challenges of our times, I felt that one member of our family was enough of a sacrifice and contribution to our nation. Source: Observer Uganda This mother of four had anticipated retiring and moving to the countryside where she would enjoy being a grandmother to her 12 grandchildren, look after the familys ranches in Rwakitura and Kisozi, and do some gardening which she has always wanted to do, but never had time. That was until God intervened. I was visiting another country in the latter half of 2005. It was then that I first heard of the Lord speak to me about standing for public office, Janet writes. I can remember exactly what I was doing when I heard Him say: You should run for Parliament next year to represent your parents constituency. Janet says at first she was not sure she had heard clearly because since politics was far off from her lifes aspirations, the idea could not have seemed more ludicrous. Blindsided as she says she was, and unsure she had heard right, the first lady ignored the issue. Nonetheless, Gods voice persisted. A few weeks later, I overheard my husband trying to convince a member of the NRM to stand in Ruhaama against the incumbent . . . The person that my husband was trying to persuade rejected his proposal . . . When I heard this I decided to feel him out by saying: I think God wants me to stand in Ruhaama. Museveni could not hear of it, going so far as wondering when his wife had become interested in politics. A few days later, I heard my husband speaking to another NRM cadre to take up the NRM vacancy in Ruhaama. This person also declined to join the parliamentary race. I turned to Yoweri again and said: I really believe God wants me to take up that vacancy for the Movement. Museveni reassured his wife not to worry because he would find someone to represent the party in Ruhaama. At some point, Janet writes that she had to make a decision between obeying God or acquiescing with her husband. Choosing the former, she returned to her husband with a determined position to let her follow what she was convinced was Gods leading. Museveni was not convinced and remained so, even when they invited the opinion of an elder they knew and trusted, or heard from a delegation from Ruhaama. Like Museveni, the Central Executive Committee NRMs decision making body to which he sent her after meeting the Ruhaama elders, was not convinced, but Janet put her foot down and insisted she would compete for the seat anyway. These revelations, the only ones of their kind with such depth, betray an otherwise decidedly apolitical story that is mainly, even as this episode demonstrates, an account of Janets devoutness. As she sees it, everything that has happened in her life has been ordered by God. But faith limits her comprehension of such complex matters as Africas deplorable state, an issue she devotes a whole chapter to. According to her, it is only in being rooted and grounded in God that we will find our true purpose and fulfil our destiny as Africans. This proposition, severally articulated by numerous ultra-evangelicals, at once assumes Africa has brought its sorry state upon itself by turning away from God. The facts, however, could not be more different. Nowhere in the world is the Christian faith growing as fast as it is in Africa.