WHEN Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni recently promoted over 2 000 soldiers to various ranks in the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), one of them was his son whom he elevated to the army’s top post – Lieutenant-General.
This is the second highest position in the army in this Great Lakes region.
Lt-Gen Kainerugaba Muhoozi (44) has risen rapidly within the military, fuelling speculation that he is being groomed to be the likely successor to 74-year-old leader, but Lt-Gen Muhoozi denies any immediate plans to enter politics.
According to a BBC report, in the last six years, Lt-Gen Muhoozi has been promoted three times and now sits one rank below President Museveni, who is a general.
Although he has served as Commander of Uganda’s Special Forces, his critics have questioned whether his promotions match his military experience. Lt-Gen Muhoozi, graduated from the UK’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2000 and in 2016 was promoted from brigadier to major general.
“Muhoozi . . . is going to play a significant role in a post-Museveni Uganda, there’s no doubt about it,” political commentator and rights activist Nicholas Opiyo told the Reuters news agency in 2017.
Since 2017 Lt-Gen Muhoozi has served as presidential adviser for special operations, which is seen as a civilian position.
Much of the army’s old guard who helped President Museveni come to power following a five-year rebellion have either retired or are preparing to do so.