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Ugandan President appoints Son as Defence Chief

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has appointed his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, as the Chief of Defence forces. Museveni announced Kainerugaba as the highest-ranking officer in…

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has appointed his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, as the Chief of Defence forces.

Museveni announced Kainerugaba as the highest-ranking officer in the military on Friday, amid concerns that the 79-year-old leader is preparing his eldest child to take over from him.

According to a statement from the defence ministry, Wilson Mbadi, who was occupying the post has been reassigned as a junior minister.

Both Museveni and his son have denied the allegations of the “Muhoozi Project” which has been a speculation of transmitting power from the father to son.

The “Muhoozi Project” began to gain momentum after Kainerugaba’s rapid rise through the military ranks since he joined in the late 1990s.

Muhoozi Kainerugaba, 48, a general in the military, is widely seen as his father’s successor in waiting and once stirred controversy by threatening to invade neighbouring Kenya.

In 2022, Museveni removed his son as commander of Uganda’s land forces after he made threats to invade neighbouring Kenya in posts on social media platform X.

In the posts, Kainerugaba also threw his weight behind Russia’s President Vladimir Putin saying, “The majority of mankind (that are non-white) support Russia’s stand in Ukraine.”

Although Ugandan laws prohibit serving military officers from dabbling into politics, Kainerugaba has frequently engaged in trading words with opposition politicians.

These actions have also formed a pressure group that has been mobilising political support for him, drawing criticism from his critics and the opposing leaders.

Last year, Kainerugaba said Uganda would “send soldiers to defend Moscow if it’s ever threatened by the Imperialists”, and called out Western nations for sharing “useless pro-Ukraine propaganda”.

In March 2023, he said he intended to run for the presidency in the 2026 elections, but he has also denied claims he is eyeing his father’s seat.

Uganda is due to hold its next presidential election in early 2026 and Museveni is widely expected to seek re-election.

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