Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s Military career at glance: From controversial tweets to a four-star General promotion. What next?

By Kajuga Rogers Kabagambe

Uganda’s First Son, Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba has been the Commander of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Land Forces and Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations. Following his controversial tweets on Monday that left social media in hot debate, the following day he was relieved from his duty as the Commander of the Land Forces.

In a press statement dated 4th October, 2022, the UPDF Spokesperson, Brigadier General. Felix Kulayigye indicated that Muhoozi has been promoted to a four-star General and relieved from being the Commander of Land Forces, and was to be succeeded by Major General Muhanga Kayanja who was also promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General. The letter indicated that General Muhoozi Kainerugaba will retain his duty as Senior Presidential Advisor on Special Operations.

The changes come on the back of criticism directed at Muhoozi, who said on Monday that the UPDF could breach Kenya’s territorial sovereignty with ease by capturing Nairobi.

Gen. Muhoozi said that it would not take him two weeks to enter Kenya, capture Nairobi and make the city a part of Uganda’s territory.

“It wouldn’t take us, my army and me, two weeks to capture Nairobi,” he said on Twitter.

President Museveni’s son Muhoozi  has been accused of being fast tracked up the military ranks by some critics in the public domain and sometimes within army cycles especially the 1986 Bush war comrades of President Museveni, who together with him captured power and later fell out with the ruling government.

His military career can be traced as far as 1997 when he returned from University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. However,  it is not clear whether he was able to graduate from the University where some sources indicate he had a two-year study period for a “BA Political Science” degree starting 1996 to 1998 but the program is three years not two.

Upon return, Muhoozi started recruiting young graduates from Makerere University to join the army. This captured public attention and MPs in the 6th Parliament questioned the circumstances under which he was recruiting the youth into the army which they considered unconstitutional.

In defense, the Government side represented by the then Deputy Defence Minister Honorable John Patrick Amama Mbabazi told Parliament that Muhoozi was recruiting Local Defence Units (LDUs). It was these recruits together with him that joined the army officially in 1999 as Cadets and Muhoozi later graduated from the Gadaffi School of Infantry at a rank of Second Lieutenant and was given an army number RO8643.

Muhoozi later acquired military training from Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK and Fort Leavenworth in the United States. He has also acquired other various military trainings in different countries. Upon his return, he was appointed as the Commander of the Controversial Special Forces Command (SFC) which many politicians think it was formed not in respect with the law. The Special Forces Command is responsible for protecting the President and other assignments.

In 2013, the then Coordinator of Intelligence who doubled as an Army representative in Parliament, Gen. David Tinyefuza, popularly known as “Gen. Sejusa” fled to exile citing security threats. His days in exile in the UK were tense for Ugandan media due to confidential letters he wrote to the media on exposing plans for hatching “ The Muhoozi Project” that is now gradually seen by the public as taking shape.

During one of the UPDF promotional functions, smartly dressed in military clad with his signature Mustache accompanied by his wife, a journalist asked Gen. Kainerugaba whether he knew about the “Muhoozi Project “ that General Sejusa talked about. He responded saying that it was an illusion and non-existent. His denial has come to open light as he personally opened up what looked liked nation-wide launch of the project during his 48th Birthday.

Critics in the corridors of politics look at the latest promotion of Muhoozi to the highest rank in the army of the land as a plan coming closer to the fulfillment of the 2013 Sejusa Prophecy of the “Muhoozi Project.”

Senior political analysts predict the the newly promoted General might quit army soon to venture into politics.

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