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Uganda’s Museveni removes his army general son as ‘commander’ after Kenya invasion tweets

Ugandas President Yoweri Museveni.

Ugandas President Yoweri Museveni.

  • Uganda’s Lieutenant-General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, in a series of tweets, threatened to invade Kenya.
  • His father, President Yoweri Museveni has since removed him as commander of land forces. 
  • Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Ministry allayed fears and assured it valued close ties with Kenya.

Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, has removed his son, Lieutenant-General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, as the commander of the land forces of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), after a series of tweets that seem to have sparked a diplomatic tiff with Kenya.

However, the defence ministry described the move as a promotion for Kainerugaba, since he is now a general and will remain a senior presidential advisor for special operations.

It said Major-General Muhanga Kayanja had been promoted to lieutenant-general and was appointed as the commander of land forces.

READ | UN refugee agency probing corruption in Uganda, Kenya

Kainerugaba, who has more than 600 000 Twitter followers, had tweeted about his admiration for his “brother”, the former president of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, who stepped down as William Ruto took office last month after general elections.

In one of the tweets, he said Kenyatta would have “easily” won re-election, but the two-term limit stopped him.

The eccentric army general did not stop there and teased his forces could march into Kenya and take the country without much trouble.

In one of the tweets he said: “After we create our East African Federation. President Museveni will be president, Afande Ruto will be vice president. My brother Uhuru will be foreign affairs minister. I just want to be CDF of the East African forces.”

This has since sparked an engagement between the newly-elected Ruto and Museveni, who has been in power since 1986.

In an official statement, the Uganda Foreign Affairs Ministry said it had noted the Twitter storm with respect to the “relationship between Uganda and our brotherly neighbour, the Republic of Kenya” and it wished to reiterate “its commitment to good neighbourliness”.

Uganda also said it did not conduct its government’s business and foreign policy through social media.

Leading opposition politician Bobi Wine, in a message to Kenyans, said the reckless tweets came from a family that thrived on human rights violations.

He added:

Dear Kenyans, you now understand what it means to live in Uganda under General Museveni and his son, whom he gifted the highest military ranks and put him in charge of our land forces! Sadly, beneath the senseless tweets lies a monster who brutalises and tortures our people for fun.

In 1976, then-Uganda leader Idi Amin Dada declared a large part of Kenya belonged to Uganda and then-Kenyan founding president Jomo Kenyatta warned he would deal ruthlessly with neighbours who publicly expressed “their sinister intentions”.

At the same time, Somalia’s president, Siad Barre, also claimed parts of northern Kenya belonged to Somalia.

Declassified US cables showed in the event of a war with Amin, Kenyatta was going to enlist the help of the US for the procurement of arms because Amin was understood to be armed to the teeth with Soviet machinery.

Had this gone ahead, the war between Uganda and Kenya would have been a grand stage for the Cold War.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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