Uganda president appoints son as head of military

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Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, has appointed Muhoozi Kainerugaba, his son, as chief of the defence forces.

Kainerugaba’s promotion was announced on Friday, raising concerns that Museveni is grooming his eldest child for the presidency.

A defence ministry statement said Wilson Mbadi, who the general replaced, has been reassigned as a junior minister.

With Museveni nearing four decades in power, speculation regarding a succession plan, widely dubbed “The Muhoozi Project”, has increased.

The “Muhoozi Project” began to gain momentum after Kainerugaba’s rapid rise through the military ranks since he joined in the late 1990s.

Despite denials by father and son regarding a deliberate plan for succession, Kainerugaba’s appointment to key military positions, especially in the wake of coups, and his involvement in political activities, have fuelled discussions about a hereditary rule in the East African country.

As a high-ranking military official, Kainerugaba is barred from speaking publicly about political matters but has frequently found himself caught in controversial webs.

While serving as commander of land forces, he “joked” that he would invade neighbouring Kenya.

Museveni apologised to Kenya, and defended his son as a “very good general”. Kainerugaba was later sacked from the position.

Last year, Kainerugaba said Uganda would “send soldiers to defend Moscow if it’s ever threatened by the Imperialists”, and called out Western nations for sharing “useless pro-Ukraine propaganda”.

In March 2023, he said he intended to run for the presidency in the 2026 elections, but he has also denied claims he is eyeing his father’s seat


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