The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has promoted his son to the rank of Major-General in the country’s military, thereby fueling speculations that the son’s rise in the Army could eventually lead to him succeeding his father.
Following the promotion, Museveni’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, 42, now becomes a two-star general and remains the top commander of Uganda’s special forces.
Muhoozi, who is the first child of the Ugandan leader, now heads up the Special Forces Command, which maintains the president’s security, and is considered to be one of the most powerful figures in the Ugandan military, which is one of the country’s most dominant institutions.
Muhoozi has been in the army since 1999 and trained at esteemed military centers including Sandhurst, the British Army’s primary military college, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was only made brigadier in 2012 and has enjoyed a rapid ascent through the military’s ranks.
Several Ugandans have reacted to the promotion of Muhoozi as they believed that their leader, who has been in power in the East African country since 1986, is grooming the son to eventually succeed him.
An allegation Museveni denied, as he said that the country is not a monarchy.
Confirming the development on Tuesday, the spokesperson for the People’s Defense Force, Lieutenant Colonel Paddy Akunda, who said that Muhoozi was one of five army officers promoted in changes announced late Monday, dismissed suggestions that Muhoozi had received favorable treatment due to the position of his father.
“I do not see any problem with that. He has attended all the requisite courses, he has experience in command, and therefore there should be no qualms about his promotion,” Akunda told NTV Uganda.
Still, there were further speculations of a secret succession plan, which has persisted over the years, driven in part by Kainerugaba’s meteoric rise in the army and the influence he now wields as the boss of the special services unit.