Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) leader Maj Gen (Rtd) Gregg Mugisha Muntu has warned Ugandan President, his former boss Gen Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni, and his son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba against messing up with the country’s security and the national army.
A former army commander and ex-fighter in the 1981-86 National Resistance Army (NRA) bush war that catapulted Gen Museveni to power, Maj Gen Muntu is one of the many former allies of Gen Museveni who have since abandoned the now 78-year-old ruler who has held the country’s highest office for nearly four decades.
Respected yet labelled a mole of the Museveni regime, Maj Gen (Rtd) Muntu has had it rough in his political journey since falling out with Gen Museveni. He abandoned the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) after losing the party presidential election to Eng Patrick Oboi Amuriat. Muntu then formed a new party, ANT, for which he was presidential candidate in the 2021 polls. His loss was miserable and the former army commander has since returned to doing the job he is famous for: building structures.
He has also continued to offer his views on the prevailing political situation in the country. His views remain largely respected despite the frustration among change-seeking forces regarding their efforts to end the Museveni regime. Known to instill hope among Ugandans unhappy with the Museveni administration, Gen Muntu has over the years insisted that the next political change in the country should not be a mere change of guards but one that will have a foundation on which dictatorship will not be allowed to thrive. He warned fellow change-seeking politicians and Ugandans against being “moved by excitement and emotion,” saying this would not take them anywhere. He emphasized the need for the opposition to constantly organize themselves.
In his commentary of matters of national importance, Maj Gen (Rtd) Muntu is known to speak his mind, calmly and sometimes emphatically. And this what he did this Tuesday morning when he was hosted by NBS TV and asked his views on the political situation in Uganda and Gen Muhoozi’s recent behavior.
Muntu warned those in government against making major mistakes, which he said was very likely. He also observed that many who were comfortable in the Museveni regime had lost touch with the reality on ground, and seemed to have forgotten the mwananchi and looked blind to the direction the country is taking. He warned of the last straw that always breaks the camel’s back if Museveni continue to take unpredictable risks and gambles on the future of Uganda.
“A number of times in an autocratic regimes, the leaders lose touch with reality because they would have pulled off a number of things that ordinarily would seem very difficult to pull off. As it happens with several autocratic setups, those who are high up lose touch with reality on the ground and tend to think that they can manipulate everybody all the time until the end of time. They get a feeling that they are special, but there is always that last attempt that always fails. That is always the area of worry because if you try it and fail, what happens?” Muntu was quoted as telling NBS Morning Breeze. “Gen Museveni is playing Russian roulette with this country. The most unfortunate thing is that the barrel of the revolver is on the head of the country, not on his own head.”
Ahead of the 2021 election, bush war general Maj Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire and some UPDF officers like Brig Sande said the army would not allow Museveni to hand over power. But Muntu vehemently rebuked Otafiire and Sande. (Read Stories Here and There).
Recently, Gen Muhoozi was in the news largely for the wrong reasons. One of these was his reckless tweets on his army’s capacity to capture the Kenyan capital Nairobi within two weeks, statements that angered a number of Kenyans. Uganda’s foreign ministry had to issue a statement dismissing the first son’s statements as mere social media talk and telling Kenyans and their William Ruto-led government to ignore Muhoozi’s tweets.
Later, Gen Museveni apologized to Kenyans, President Ruto and Ugandans for his son Muhoozi’s mistakes. He also laboured to explain his decision to promote his 48-year-old son to the rank of UPDF general, the highest in the national army, yet the former Commander of UPDF Land Forces had just sent out tweets that could have sparked off war between Kenya and Uganda. (Read Stories Here and There).
In his view, the way Gen Muhoozi is being treated by his father and whatever he is doing cannot be allowed to happen in relatively serious countries such as Kenya, Uganda’s eastern neighbor, and Tanzania, which borders Uganda to the south. Gen Muhoozi warned the first son and other army officers against messing up with the security of the country and the region, an issue he says is more serious than politics.
The ANT leader was also concerned that Muhoozi had continued to engage in partisan politics in several of his parties yet he is still a serving officer of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces. After being fired from his position as Commander of the UPDF Land Forces, Gen Muhoozi was decorated by his uncle Gen Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh and the first son’s wife Charlotte Nankunda Kutesa Kainerugaba. In two celebrations that followed, one at Bombo Grounds and another at Skyz Hotel, Museveni’s son hinted on his next plan, a declaration that came days after his shocking revelation on his mission to replace his father in 2026. (See Details Here and There).
Noting that there could be several army officers who are disgruntled and would want to express their divergent views the way Gen Muhoozi waxes lyrical about his political ambitions, but are barred by the law and uniform, Gen Muntu called on the first son to respect the national army’s uniform, making it clear that the UPDF “doesn’t belong to an individual” — Museveni or his son.
Muntu warned Muhoozi to stop playing with the lives of Ugandans, telling him to quit the army and go into politics if he wants. “If he [Muhoozi] wants to get into politics, he has to get out of the army uniform; they are playing around with a country of 45 million people,” said the former army commander. Months ago, Muntu told Museveni to allow his son to retire from the UPDF and pursue his political ambitions. Days later Muhoozi and Muntu were engaged in a war of words over this statement. (Read Story Here).