Museveni, Muhoozi, can we say like father like son?
When discussing a prospective Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba run for the Ugandan president, it is only fair to clarify that he has not launched a formal bid for high office.
The ‘duck hypothesis’ governs the majority of what is stated. If it looks like a duck, moves like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.
In 2013, the then-coordinator of intelligence agencies, Gen. David Sejusa, created the name “Muhoozi project,” stating that there was a plan for Muhoozi, then the Commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC), to follow his father, Gen. Yoweri T. Museveni, as President.
There have been denials and many disputes. It’s now raging, and groups of mostly young people have come out bare-knuckled to describe him as their generational leader. They claim he will be their president in 2026.
For his 48th birthday, there was a massive celebration, leading some skeptics to feel that the possibility of Muhoozi replacing his father or running for President in the future should now be regarded extremely seriously.
If this is the case, we may draw a few similarities between the two military men, who are related by blood, on their paths to high rank beginning here.
In Museveni’s instance, his clearest candidacy was launched at a considerably younger age of about 35 when he ran and lost as a Presidential candidate for the UPM party in 1980.
Despite the fact that he had been organizing and attempting to prepare since the 1970s. He traveled to Mozambique to have firsthand knowledge with FRELIMO. In 1972, he collaborated with Milton Obote in the bungled invasion of Uganda from Tanzania.
There was no longer any doubt about his objectives when he was about 40. He went to the jungles of Luweero after 1980 and shot his way to power. Conviction and self-motivation were there from a young age.
At this point, it may be argued that Muhoozi’s thesis is based on a less difficult basis. Military training in another country. Promotions in the army are rather quick.
As a serving officer in the army, you have unrestricted freedom to make political remarks, something many others do not have. He benefits from his father’s well-established political/military networks.
His Kabamba moment, the one that made people sit up and take attention, occurred during a 48th birthday celebration ceremony with merrymaking in an urban environment, involving thousands of fans, friends, and relatives.
When history is written, the drive for high office will be attributed mostly to ‘public demand,’ particularly on social media, making Muhoozi a hesitant convert rather than an ardent missionary.
This in no way diminishes his worth. It really gives him and his father credit for the fact that you no longer need blood and iron to have a chance at the presidency.
Nonetheless, the two had a pretty lackluster ‘launch.’ In Museveni’s instance, some 40 men with 27 weapons audaciously attacked the Kabamba barracks, which is located in a rural location. It subsequently evolved into a rebel army of legions that toppled a sitting government, a first on the African continent.
The first significant event in Muhoozi’s, nicknamed the ‘MK Marathon,’ did not quite turn out to be the expected rainstorm of runners displaying their unwavering love with some sweat.
In actuality, it was a scattered downpour that was redeemed later in the evening by a massive performance at Lugogo with lots of food, drink, and fun. It culminated the following day with a luncheon at State House in his honor, bringing the Rwandan President to Uganda after a four-year sabbatical, which was no small effort.
That being said, if Uganda ends up with a Muhoozi presidency, Museveni’s hand will be quite evident.
Museveni has spent his whole political career as the kind of persuading father who forced men to abandon school, families, and jobs, as well as take a severe danger of death, for a concept that they were unsure would work.
When you look at the people that surround Muhoozi, individuals who can’t bring themselves to run 10Kms as a show of support but are willing to partake in a food and drink fest a few hours later, you know he’ll start on a difficult note.
But why is that? Is it because Uganda’s politics are the outcome of Museveni’s efforts?
It has rapidly degenerated to the point where everyone of us would be better off snatching something for ourselves since the system that distributes evenly; the state is crumbling and coming apart.
Politics is the highest-paying occupation. The wisest men and women today just place themselves at the source of power, which is politics, in order to select something and move.
That is what Uganda has become after 36 years of NRM control.
If the opportunity does not exist, you manufacture one by being a sycophant and making outlandish remarks to demonstrate overwhelming love for the powers that be. It does not have to come from the bottom of one’s heart. It is difficult to locate real individuals.
That is the challenge for Muhoozi or whomever comes after Museveni, whether from the opposition or not. They will have to cope with ‘thieves,’ opportunists, and grabbers for help.
On November 22, 1991, Charles Onyango-Obbo wrote in his Weekly Topic column, A View from Boston, that “great institutions, as well as countries, are formed and maintained by men and women who contribute to them (at least) more than they take away.”
If things continue as they are, the future of Uganda after Museveni will be defined by taking away, and there are hints that things will only grow worse.
The fact that the things to take away are diminishing by the day, woe betide the man or woman who will lead the men and women on that day. When they run out of things to grasp, they’ll seek power.
If everything goes as planned, Muhoozi will be in charge of that obligation.