Log in
Updated few hours ago

Will Muhoozi Kainerugaba become Uganda’s next president?

Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba

Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba

Ugandan president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has named his son General Muhoozi Kainerugaba as the country’s Chief of Defence Forces (CDF).

Museveni, who has ruled Uganda for 38 years, made the announcement on Thursday, March 21, 2024, on the heels of a mini cabinet reshuffle. That cabinet reshuffle sees the outgoing CDF Gen Wilson Mbadi appointed state minister for Trade to make way for Muhoozi. Mbadi’s appointment to cabinet follows a familiar pattern where Museveni “promotes” the CDF to a cabinet position. This was the fate of Mbadi’s predecessors David Muhoozi, Katumba Wamala and Aronda Nyakairima.
 
Muhoozi’s appointment is eye-brow-raising as it has long been speculated that Museveni, 79, is preparing his 49-year-old son to one day be the country’s next president. In May 2013, Uganda’s coordinator of intelligence services Gen David Sejusa accused Museveni of attempting to perpetuate a “political monarchy” by grooming Muhoozi to become president. Sejusa authored a letter dubbing the entire scheme, a “Muhoozi project” that was leaked to the country’s major dailies, Daily Monitor and The Red Pepper.
 
Muhoozi and his father would come out to strongly deny the charge even as the first son continued to enjoy rapid promotion in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces which he joined in 1999. At the time of the Sejusa revelation, Muhoozi had been named head the Special Forces Command (SFC) in 2012 which is charged with protecting the head of state and first family.
 
Since then, Muhoozi has continued to be the centre of controversy with some government and opposition politicians accusing him of flouting the UPDF Act after he engaged in partisan politics. A serving army officer is barred from participating in politics in Uganda, however, Muhoozi openly declared his love for the ruling party the National Resistance Movement (NRM) founded by Museveni after he came to power on January 26, 1986.
 
At the height of tensions between Rwanda and Uganda in 2022, Muhoozi broke with national policy and called for a restoration of relations between the “two brother nations.” Rwanda had closed its border with Uganda in 2019 accusing it of harassing its citizens. Ugandan government officials led by Foreign Affairs minister, Henry Okello Oryem denied this charge. Muhoozi’s overtures to Rwandan President Paul Kagame who he referred to as “uncle” would see the country reopen its border in 2022 after a three-year diplomatic freeze.
 
Kagame would then attend Muhoozi’s 48th birthday celebration in Kampala in April 2022, further warming relations between the two countries which had once been close allies. Kagame had actually participated in the five-year bush war (1981-1986) that propelled Museveni to power in Uganda. Uganda was then accused of funding and assisting the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPA), which Kagame led, take power in 1994.
 
The birthday celebration was the culmination of a year of fevered activity where Muhoozi toured the country holding similar bashes which opposition figures like Kizza Besigye and Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu dubbed disguised political campaigns. Muhoozi had coalesced a self-proclaimed “Team MK” most prominently marshalled by once acerbic government critic and journalist Andrew Mwenda and former music promoter Balaam Barugahara.
 
In the space of a year, Muhoozi had abandoned all pretence of not having interest in political office. His X handle (formerly Twitter) became one of the most followed as he fired off volleys of tweets in 2022 that came close to affecting regional security like when he declared Uganda supported the TPLF rebels who were waging a war against the sitting government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
 
Out of the seeming blue, Muhoozi would also tweet that the Ugandan army he now heads could march and capture Nairobi, the capital city of its largest trade partner Kenya, in three weeks. He would then take his very limelight averse wife Charlotte for a tour of the district where he lived as a refugee baby while his parents conspired underground to remove the successive governments of Idi Amin and Milton Obote.

That tweet provoked such an uproar that President Museveni was forced to apologise on his and the country’s behalf to Kenya.
 
Finally, as that year closed out, Muhoozi would finally openly declare his desire to succeed Museveni as Ugandan president. On January 20, 2023, he would post, “I will be president of this country after my father. Those fighting the project are lost. MK Movement will win!!”
 
When Muhoozi assumes office as UPDF chief of defence forces, that seems all but certain as the army has decided who will become head of state in the country since its independence in 1962.
 
The author is a writer and researcher

Comments

0 #1 Lakwena 2024-03-27 16:36
That in 2013, Muhoozi and his father came out to strongly deny Gen Tinyejusa's charges, but because of their like father like son actions,; today in 2013, Gen Tinyejusa letter now makes "Our Problem of Africa and his son Gen Muhoozi fools.

In other words, just because he is the president and his son a General, "Our Problem of Africa" thinks Ugandans are so gullible (Idiots), to believe what is false as true and what is true as false.
Report to administrator
+2 #2 Tim K 2024-03-31 13:26
In all the we have seen, we shall still be able to see a lot.Uganda is still the Uganda we had before this government, therefore, we have learnt nothing and surely forgot nothing!
Report to administrator

Comments are now closed for this entry