President Yoweri Museveni has revealed that he, unlike Muslims who only do not eat pork, does not eat fish and chicken as well.
The president made the revelation on Thursday while speaking at the Somalia Conference held in London, UK where he praised Uganda for being the pioneer troop contributing country with the leading elements of her first contingent landing in Mogadishu on March 6, 2007.
Museveni quoted observers who were convinced that his effort was hopeless, if not suicidal.
“We were, however, confident of the correctness and feasibility of our decision. This was due to our knowledge of the African peoples, those people that have inhabited this area for the last 4 million years,” he reminded them.
Many of the African societies live symbiotically with one another, utilising their diversity for mutual benefit, Museveni continued, noting that bigotry, which seems to characterise some societies in the world, is not common in African societies.
He thus chastised the “bankrupt ideology of bigotry” being pushed by groups from Asia and the Middle East being imposed on the people of Somalia saying Somalia was one of the rendezvous points between the two diametrically opposed world outlooks: live and let live or chauvinism.
“I normally tell my Moslem friends that, according to my culture my list of haram (ebihagaro) is much longer than theirs,” he pointed out.
“It is not only pigs that we regard as haram. Our list includes: fish (ebijongoma), chicken and mutton etc.”
According to Museveni, fish is regarded as snake which chicken is seen as a bird that is always flying.
“If you eat it [chicken] you are likely to be restless and unsettled,” he said.
Nevertheless, Museveni noted, chicken are reared for use in divination in the traditional religions.
“Moreover, our people would happily donate chicken to our neighbouring communities who relish the consuming of those creatures.”
He said the same applies to fish, mutton, etc. “In other-words, our philosophy was: “live and let live” ─ enjoy your rights but do not interfere with the rights of others. Our communities specialise in skills and products and exchange ─ goods and services.”
He added: “That is how we were able to build a strong civilisation that withstood the assaults we suffered from the slave-trade, colonialism and the local tyranny of our myopic and ego-centric chiefs.”
The president has, over the years, championed a combative campaign on healthy living centring on dieting and physical exercise.
“If Ugandans, individually and or collectively, could add hygiene, nutrition and personal discipline (for example, avoiding umalaya (prostitution), alcohol, smoking and obesity) the total disease burden eliminated would amount to 80 per cent,” he said while addressing the nation in 2013.
He is quoted telling BBC’s Stephen Sackur during a Hard Talk programme, “I don’t eat fish because I call it snake, I don’t eat chicken because I think if you eat chicken you will be unstable, I don’t eat pigs, I don’t eat very many of those things which you people eat.”
According to reports, Museveni’s heaviest meal is breakfast and he loves African or organic foods with his favourite being millet both bread and porridge.
His breakfast menu comprises milk tea, bananas and fruit salads and he enjoys vegetable sandwiches, steamed bananas, vegetables like spinach, nakati, dodo and broccoli.
He also enjoys rice and either boiled sweet or Irish potatoes served with beef, groundnut stew with vegetables.
Growing up as a child, a younger Museveni like other family members fed exclusively on cattle products; mainly milk — fresh milk, soured milk, and, once in a while, a kind of thick cream variety called eshabwe which they ate with steamed bananas.