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Succession: Will Museveni appoint first son Muhoozi Kainerugaba Vice President?

Museveni and his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Courtesy Photos

President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni might have to appoint his son Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba if the so-called Muhoozi Project for succession is to be fulfilled.

Talk within the corridors of the offices that matter regarding cabinet appointments have listed Lt Kainerugaba among those from whom Museveni might pick the second most ‘powerful’ official in the land.

Also on the list are junior tourism minister Godfrey Kiwanda Ssubi, higher education minister John Chrysostom Muyingo, former prime minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, and deputy speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah.

Incumbent vice president Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi is also said to still be in the picture.

President Museveni, 76, has ruled Uganda since taking office following a five-year bush war in 1986.

He is set to begin his sixth elective term at the end of which he will have led Uganda for four decades, and will himself be 81.

During his 2021 presidential campaigns, Museveni said he was yet to see a potential successor among his bush war comrades.

Museveni: I haven’t seen any potential successor; bush war comrades Besigye, Muntu, Tumukunde can’t lead Uganda

So, could Museveni be looking with his First Family for a successor.

Whenever the question of succession has always come up, Museveni’s son Lt Gen Kainerugaba’s name has always come up.

And the rumored Muhoozi Project has always made the succession plan even more complex.

First coined by former spy chief and Museveni’s bush was comrade Gen David Tinyefuuza (now Sejusa), the term ‘Muhoozi Project’ is synonymous with a purported plan to see Kainerugaba succeed his father as president.

Tinyefuuza’s (Sejusa’s) allegations that there was a scheme to eliminate top military and government officials opposed to the so-called Muhoozi Project landed both him and the media in trouble with the State.

Both Museveni and his son have severally denied the presence of such a plot, but insisted Ugandans had a right to choose their leaders, including Kainerugaba, if they seemed him capable.

But in 2020, the first son said his enemies had sought to use the so-called Muhoozi Project against him but his generation has turned it into a blessing.

Kainerugaba has a legion of supporters within and out of government.

A group of ruling NRM MPs and some Ministers consider him as well suited to succeed Uganda’s longest serving president.

It is also not uncommon to stumble on posts praising Muhoozi as “our generational leader” or “Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba is my role model” on social media.

For the is group of the Muhoozi Project enthusiasts, appointing Kainerugaba as Museveni’s vice president would place him closer to the country’s highest office.

If Museveni appointed his son, who has held military positions for years now, his succession plan would no longer be a secret.

In December 2020, Museveni reappointed Kainerugaba the Special Forces Command (SFC).

Besides retaining his position as his father’s senior advisor on special operations, the first son, as SFC commandant, is in charge of his father’s and the First Family’s security.

Some analysts argue that elevating Kainerugaba to Vice President position would be so fast a promotion.

That the president should hire his son, first as a junior, then senior minister in charge of security, or defence (or even internal affairs).

It from these positions that he would elevate him to vice president.

But for Kainerugaba to take over from his father and keep power, he would need the support of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Those against the idea of rushing Kainerugaba’s elevation say he should use a few years as a junior minister to concentrate on politics and penetrate the NRM structures.

Museveni is expected to announce his new cabinet in the coming weeks.

Could his son land the VP job, furthering alleged regional imbalance in top government jobs and catching many political observers by surprise?

Or will make it to his father’s sixth term cabinet and rise through the political ranks?

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