The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) hierarchies have remained mute about land forces commander Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s pronouncement to vie for Presidency.
Muhoozi, who turned 48 on April 24, 2022, has publicly expressed interest to run for president in 2026, when his father Yoweri Kaguta Museveni clocks 40 years as head of state.
Hundreds of youthful Ugandans, lawmakers and the business community have been organizing entertainment shows, religious gatherings, and soccer competitions in the different regions of the country to celebrate Gen Muhoozi’s 48th birthday, dubbed [email protected]
However, analysts have weighed in observing that the countrywide ‘birthday celebration’ is simply a ploy to popularize Gen Muhoozi’s candidacy. Speculation about Muhoozi being lined to succeed his father was first highlighted in 2013.by then Coordinator of Intelligence Services, Gen David Sejusa.
At the time, Gen Sejusa called for an investigation into what he said were “claims” of a plot “to assassinate people who disagree with this so-called family project of holding onto power in perpetuity”.
Several of Gen Muhoozi’s official tweets @mkainerugaba, partly confirms his interest in taking over power, though it remains unclear when exactly that would happen as his father’s tenure of office will end in 2026, and for now, Muhoozi is still a soldier in the army.
For instance, in one of his most recent tweets, Gen Muhoozi said, “The fact that all those who used to abuse me on a daily basis are now being forced to swallow their words by the people is great!! Team MK will announce our political programme soon.”
He added: “They were joking with us until they saw how strong we are! Uganda is ours! No one shall ever intimidate us! Uganda belongs to Team MK!”. Article 208(2) of the Constitution prohibits army officers from engaging in active politics.
Asked about the Army’s position in regards to Muhoozi’s statements, Brig Gen. Felix Kulayigye, the Defence Spokesperson declined to comment.
He referred the URN reporter to Maj Chris Magezi, the Director of Information and Communication Office of the Senior Presidential Advisor in charge of Special Operations.
“I request you talk to the Gen himself or the of his Director Information and Communication Office about it, he is in charge,” said Kulayige before he hang up.
URN made repeated calls to Magezi but to no avail.
It should be recalled that since 2005, several retired high ranking officers including Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Henry Tumukunde, Gen Sejusa, Col (Rtd) Kiiza Besigye and colonel Fred Bogere ran into trouble for expressing political opinions.