Ugandan President Museveni fires son over tweet in Kenya
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sacked his son as commander of infantry forces on Tuesday after the son tweeted a series of messages containing unprovoked threats to capture neighboring Kenya’s capital, sparking widespread concern in East Africa. ‘East.
Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, dubbed Uganda’s “general of tweets”, has in recent months drawn the ire of some Ugandans who consider his regular Twitter posts provocative and sometimes even dangerous.
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He tweets in support of Tigray rebels fighting Ethiopian federal troops. He expressed his support for violent rebels fighting Congolese soldiers in the east of that country. He said that all Africans support Russia in its war in Ukraine. Bizarrely, he recently said he would give 100 long-horned cattle – apparently as a bride price – to Italy’s new prime minister.
Some of his followers say his tweets are attempts at humor and should not be taken seriously. But many others see a bigger problem. As an army officer, it is constitutionally forbidden to engage in partisan politics and some Ugandans point out that any other soldier tweeting like Kainerugaba would be court-martialled.
“It wouldn’t take me and my army 2 weeks to capture Nairobi,” he tweeted on Monday.
This threat to take over Kenya’s capital went too far for his father, an authoritarian in power since 1986.
Kenyan President William Ruto, who took power last month, is friends with Museveni, whom he described as the region’s “father” during his inauguration.
Kainerugaba’s tweets infuriated many Kenyans, and the foreign minister tweeted on Tuesday that he had a meeting with the Ugandan ambassador.
Uganda’s foreign ministry dismissed Kainerugaba’s tweets in a statement that spoke of a “harmonious relationship which we enjoy”.
Kainerugaba, the mainstay of his father’s personal security apparatus, served as the de facto army chief, with his allies strategically deployed in command positions in the security services, observers say. He was promoted to five-star general and will remain a military adviser to his father, according to a statement announcing his replacement as infantry commander by Lt. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga.
Many Ugandans believe Kainerugaba is groomed to replace Museveni as president, claims the president has long denied.
Kainerugaba’s associates describe him as a devoted military officer who often shuns ostentatious displays of power and wealth. He attended military schools in the United States and Britain before taking charge of a presidential guard unit that has since morphed into an elite special forces group.
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