This week was significant for the alleged father-to-son succession plot in Uganda’s politics after President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni announced a few changes in the UPDF, rotating around his only male child Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who was until days ago the Commander of Land Forces of the national army, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces.
After an avalanche of controversial tweets posted on micro-blogging site Twitter, Gen Museveni moved to tame his son — at least in the eyes of the public. Muhoozi had left Kenyans worried after he hinted on his army’s ability to capture Nairobi within a fortnight, rekindling memories of former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada’s expansionist moves.
The ‘careless’ tweets prompted Gen Museveni to relieve his son of his duties as the Commander of the Land Forces. Muhoozi’s successor is Lt Gen Apollo Kayanja Muhanga, the man who has been commanding Operation Shujaa.
The dropping of Gen Kainerugaba followed a meeting the first son held with his father in the morning that followed an evening of careless tweeting that seemed to point to something wrong.
This was not the first time Muhoozi had tweeted about diplomatically risky issues. He had written about Russia, Tigray and tweeted about partisan politics, yet Gen Museveni had not found those reasons urgent enough to act as a basis to relieve his son of his duties as CDF.
Months ago, there were reports that Museveni had ‘banned’ his son Muhoozi from carelessly tweeting about security matters. In fact, Muhoozi even deleted his Twitter account for some days. (Read Story Here).
With the recent Twitter storm and the subsequent UPDF changes, theorists, observers and analysts following the issue of Museveni succession are claiming that this week’s events feed into the Museveni succession story and the so-called Muhoozi Project.
Both Museveni and Muhoozi have denied the presence of the Muhoozi Project — a term first used in 2013 by former spymaster Gen David Sejusa (Tinyefuuza) to refer to allegations that there was a plot to eliminate political and military leaders opposed to a move by Museveni to make his son succeed him as president.
But the actions such as the accelerated elevation of Muhoozi to the highest rank in the national army at the age of 48 seem to point to a succession plan that has the first son at the centre.
There are now reports that Muhoozi and Museveni could have disagreed on the succession plan, particularly the year the old generation should hand over power to the new generation.
Those who have been keenly following the Muhoozi story remember that months ago, Muhoozi tweeted about his retirement from the army before pushing the same to 2030, a year before the 2031 presidential election. (Read Story Here).
But just this week, Muhoozi made a shocking revelation on replacing his father Gen Museveni in 2026. (Read Story Here).
Yet there are top government officials such as Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Norbert Mao whose statements suggest that Museveni will run for president in 2026 and could peacefully hand over power in 2031. (Read Story Here).
Those claiming that there is disagreement between Muhoozi and Museveni on the year of succession allege that the first son could have become impatient and unwilling to wait until 2030, hence his behavior on social media. But succession matters remain a complicated part of the Ugandan democracy. What is clear is that Muhoozi had thrown hints on his interest in the presidency, especially as he celebrated his 48th birthday.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Bobi Wine has warned Ugandans that Muhoozi will be president if they don’t ‘stop this madness.’ (Read Story Here).