Muhoozi now bets on father’s blessings to go for presidency
General Muhoozi Kainerugaba has often portrayed himself as Yoweri Museveni’s probable successor. However, he now claims that this is only feasible if the “old guy” agrees to the mission.
Despite an intensive grassroots campaign sponsored by President Museveni’s younger brother, Toyota Kaguta, for the position of Uganda’s Presidential Adviser on Special Operations in 2026.
This week, General Muhoozi said that if President Museveni refuses, all would be lost.
“If my father lets me run in 2026, the level of support we have would astound the whole nation,” he stated.
General Muhoozi announced his desire to run in the next general election, and his followers have been at the center of a series of public, politically charged events, including nationwide birthday celebrations. His 48th birthday was honored throughout the nation last year, culminating in a supper at State House Entebbe attended by Rwanda President Paul Kagame. But fans are already planning for the next one, which he believes will be held in Kigali in April of this year.
Celebrations of a birthday
Another question is if the birthday festivities would rekindle political activity. According to Andrew Mwenda, his new spokesperson, theirs is a movement that is not competing with anyone or any political force, but rather articulating the ideals of young people who are “disenchanted, disconnected from the body politic of Uganda” because the government is not serving their interests.
He claims that General Muhoozi’s followers are young people yearning for an alternative and that their goal is not to acquire power. He claims they are different from other players such as National Unity Platform leader and former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi or Kizza Besigye in that they are focusing on reforming the ruling party so that it can be led by tired, old, and weak people while also delivering on infrastructure and jobs that young people want.
President Museveni’s supporters are concerned that his son would seize political power and smother the governing National Resistance Movement (NRM). These include Gen Kahinda Otafiire (Internal Affairs Minister), Brig Haji Moses Kigongo (NRM party vice-chairman), Maj Jessica Alupo (the country’s vice-president), and Vincent Ssempijja (defense minister). They hurried to back President Museveni’s 2026 candidacy, despite the fact that Mr Museveni has avoided debating the matter and has directed supporters, particularly the young, to focus on development concerns.
Mr. Museveni warned the youth and medical workers who had nominated him for the 2026 general elections in Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in the country’s capital Kampala last week to focus on economic reform, saying the time for campaigning ended after the elections in 2021.
Mr Mwenda thinks Muhoozi is the result of the opposition’s inability to give an alternative political formation for the country’s current difficulties, and that young people throughout the country regard Muhoozi as a “excellent listener, with tremendous analytical abilities and outstanding social intelligence.”
According to Mr Mwenda, after operating amorphously for over two years, the Muhoozi team is now constructing and building grassroots institutions, with regional and local leaders, which might indicate a more prolonged strategy to gather popularity before he can run for the country’s top office.
Making plans for 2031
Muhoozi’s tone on his aim seems to suggest that he is planning for 2031 rather than 2026, as his supporters would want.
Justice Minister Norbert Mao, who just joined the administration despite claiming to be the head of Uganda’s oldest party, the Democratic Party, claims he has been tasked with managing the transition.
“I call for the cooperation of the people of Mitooma on the mission I have been assigned. “I think we will have a new Uganda by 2031,” he said. However, the President eventually denied assigning Mao such a task.
According to NRM Secretary-General Richard Todwong, there is no opening for a presidential contender till the present president’s tenure expires.
“Whoever becomes our flag bearer will be decided by the party,” he told local media.
thrown into disarray
For months, the party has been in disarray as taming and regulating its members from the two political camps has proven difficult. To no effect, senior party members petitioned the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC), the top decision-making party organ, to request that the president clear the air concerning his son.
Mr. Todwong claims that the President is aware of what is going on. The two factions are afraid of clashing.
According to Muhoozi supporters like Balaam Barugahara, the Muhoozi Movement is reawakening dormant NRM veterans and bush war heroes who have refused to stand aside in favor of the dynamic, young members.
“We are putting in place systems to prepare Gen Muhoozi to succeed his father when the time comes. We’re doing it on our own. “We’re not tied to NRM,” he stressed.
“Those who haven’t got their priorities correctly are the ones confused themselves. “They don’t know whether to satisfy the son or the parent,” he told Kampala’s local media.
While many of his fans are NRM party members, Muhoozi recently said that the party, which his father formed against previous president Dr Milton Obote in the early 1980s and was backed by locals until military victory in 1986, no longer represented the people of Uganda.
“I am listening to our people’s call for change. I’m on their side. Whatever NRM has become does not reflect Ugandans. “I don’t believe in NRM,” he said.