Museveni: ‘I’m not grooming my son for president’

Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba and President Museveni.

Setting records straight. The President says Uganda is not a monarchy for him to transfer power to his son. President Museveni has made it clear that there are no plans to have his son, Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba, replace him as leader of the country in the near future.

The President told foreign television news outlet, Al-Jazeera, at the weekend that “that man is an army officer [who] is not interested in politics.” He, however, never ruled out the possibility in the far-away future. In the interview aired on Sunday night on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Mr Museveni said Brig Kainerugaba “will not be interested in politics in the short run”.

Brig Kainerugaba is the commanding officer of the Special Forces Command, an elite military unit that guards the First Family and sensitive installations in the country. Asked whether the First Son is a potential candidate to be the next President, Mr Museveni added: “That man is an army officer... Certainly he will not be interested in politics in the short run.” He added: “There can be no such [hereditary transfer] because Uganda is not a monarchy, we go through elections. There is no such transfer. Any leader of Uganda will have to go through regular elections”

Mr Museveni, who has been in power for 27 years, insisted that whether his son gets interested in politics in the long run “is up to him and up to the people of Uganda”.

Yesterday, FDC president Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu talked down the so-called “Muhoozi Project”, contending that the main focus [now] should be on the removal of Mr Museveni to nip in the bud “whatever schemes he has”. “I do not spend time speculating on whether Muhoozi is coming or is not coming. I focus all my attention on the removal of President Museveni. Once you achieve that, then whatever other thing anybody is engaged in becomes redundant,” Gen Muntu said.

UPC vice president Joseph Bbosa said his party is not opposed to the First Son assuming the presidency, but warned that his bid must be subject to free and fair elections both at a party and national level. “All that we are concerned with is that he should come through elections. He should not be imposed or given any advantages,” Mr Bbosa said.

In May, long simmering suggestions that Brig Kainerugaba might be imposed on the country as a replacement for his father at the presidency were thrust to the public fore by renegade coordinator of intelligence services, Gen David Sejusa.
Gen Sejusa wrote a letter to the director general of the Internal Security Organisation calling for a probe into allegations that senior government and military officials, including himself, opposed to the “Muhoozi Project” were on the radar of elimination.

The Defence minister, Mr Crispus Kiyonga, told Parliament that such a project does not exist.
Gen Sejusa has since then been holed up in the United Kingdom amidst pronouncements by the army that he faces treason charges.

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