29th January, 2003

Museveni watches 'Biro', praises Mwine

CONGRATULATIONS: Museveni (right) greets Mwine at the National Theatre on Sunday
By Solomon Muyita

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has praised Ntare Mwine's play Biro saying the narration was fantastic, true and educational.

He said Mwine was an innovative and great mobiliser who should be given assistance to improve his talent and career.

Museveni, who made a rare appearance at the National Theatre to watch the one-man play on Sunday, admitted the play was a true story but said it mixed up some of the facts.

"I know this young man very well. I saw him when I attended his mother's wedding in 1966. He is from a family of freedom fighters. Two of his uncles died in the struggles, one was called Sam Magara," Museveni said.

But the President disputed some of the ideas in the widely acclaimed play, Biro, which depicts the trials of a former NRA soldier infected with AIDS, now living in America.

He said army officers who were with Biro and were dropped from a military course in Cuba because they were infected with HIV/AIDS, were 18 and not 32 as portrayed.

The play depicts a young boy from war-torn Uganda growing up into manhood but faced with challenges like poverty, the HIV/AIDS scourge and unemployment.

It also relives the Obote and Amin regimes of misrule, acts of terror and murder that resulted in the Movement launching an armed liberation struggle to re-establish peace and democracy.

Museveni said the play, acted by Ntare, a US-based Ugandan actor, misquoted him in the episode when Biro and his comrades met the President after returning from Cuba.

In the play, Biro said Museveni told the dejected soldiers they had been dropped because they were HIV-positive and it was incurable.

"I did not tell these children that they were going to die. I remember telling them the disease had a long gestation period and that the medicine would be found soon," Museveni said.

He urged Mwine to correct the errors.

Asked whether he would correct the errors an ecstatic Mwine said, "This is not a documentary. It is just drama."

Published on: Wednesday, 29th January, 2003

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