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Museveni promotes son to Chief of Defense Forces months after he threatened Nairobi attack

General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, son of Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, popularly nicknamed M7, has been promoted to the position of Chief of Defense Forces.

In a circular from the Uganda People’s Defense Forces’ Office of the Defense Spokesperson, General Muhoozi was among eight new appointments and promotions announced on March 21, 2024.

“The UPDF fraternity congratulates the General Officers for the new appointments and well deserved promotions and wish them good luck in their new assignments and ranks,” read the statement.

The Chief of Defense involves the officer overseeing the administration and the operational control of the Ugandan military. This will make General Muhoozi Kainerugaba the highest ranking military officer in the country as he replaces General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi.

Prior to his appointment as CDF, Muhoozi Kainerugaba was promoted to the rank of full General a year ago, a step up from his previous rank as Uganda Army Commander. The promotion came about five months after General Muhoozi had threatened to storm Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, and take over it within two weeks and make it part of Ugandan territory. This caused a diplomatic row between Kenya and Uganda.

“It wouldn’t take us, my army and me, two weeks to capture Nairobi,” said Muhoozi.

In a series of tweets, he also said he would bring his wife over for a tour of Nairobi to see whether they would reside in upmarket estates Riverside of Westlands after the invasion.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Uganda moved to distance themselves from General Muhoozi’s sentiments as a war of words escalated between the two countries.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda has noted the debate on social media in respect to the relationship between Uganda and our brotherly neighbor, the Republic of Kenya,” said the Ugandan Foreign Affairs Ministry as they affirmed that Uganda does not handle its foreign affairs policies on social media platforms.

At one point, President Museveni had to rebuke his son for social media rants, accusing him of meddling in the affairs of Kenya and going against military rules. This prompted Muhoozi to apologize, stating he had no problem with Kenya’s President William Ruto after ranting against former president Uhuru Kenyatta for ‘giving up his constitutional right’ and not vying for a third term.

“If I made a mistake anywhere, I ask him to forgive me as his younger brother,” said General Kainerugaba.

General Muhoozi’s new appointment also comes in light of him openly campaigning to succeed his father as president in the 2026 General Election, campaigns which are against the army bylaws in Uganda. No soldier is allowed to openly participate in political matters but General Muhoozi, through his MK Movement, has been popularizing his bid across the country for months now.

His presidential ambitions continues to be fodder for debate over the Museveni family’s allegedly turning the presidency into a family legacy and not being democratic considering President Museveni has ruled the nation for 38 years now.

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