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Uproar as Museveni’s Serbian delegation includes govt officials who are relatives

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) in Uganda, the country’s main opposition party, is in uproar over President Yoweri Museveni’s entourage in Serbia on July 31, 2023.

FDC claimed the country was experiencing what it described as ‘state capture’ whereby the Head of State’s family tree ruled the country, ‘blatantly portraying nepotism’.

“State capture and family rule. Here is General Kaguta Museveni ‘s family tree at the panel. Muhoozi Kainerugaba- Mr Museveni’s son and Presidential advisor in Special Operations. Dr Diana Atwiine-Mr Museveni’s daughter, who grew up in State House- is now a Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health. A ministry that is full of thieves, who stole trillions of money during COVID-19. Mr Bright Kanyontore Rwamirama – Cousin to Mr Museveni and State Minister For Animal Industry. Mr Odrek Rwabwogo – Marries Museveni’s second daughter Patience. Etc. Bottom line: Nepotism happens because NRM/ M7 junta exists. Ugandans must fight to regain power and reconstruct state institutions for Equal opportunity and shared prosperity,” read a statement from the FDC on August 1, 2023.

Nairobi News fact checked the FDC’s claims and noted the following.

Ms Diana Atwiine is not President Museveni’s biological daughter but she did grow up in State House Uganda.

On the other hand, Mr Bright Kanyontore Rwamirama is a cousin to Mrs Janet Museveni and not President Museveni. Muhoozi is the President’s son known for his controversial tweets while Odrek Rwabogo is his son in law.

There were mixed reactions to FDC’s uproar as some Ugandans claimed they saw nothing wrong if the President used his relatives to advance Uganda’s economy, others mocked the Museveni clan, wondering if it was wrong for the President to ‘have a private family meeting’ while others called out the President for lacking diversity in his appointments.

In 2009, The Independent, a Ugandan publication, conducted research and analysis to see just how many of Museveni’s relatives ran the government. On the political front, seven of his relatives were noted including his wife, his younger brother, his sister and his step-brother.

On the military front, The Independent noted four relatives including his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, his cousin, Major Sabiiti Magyenyi and his wife’s cousin, Colonel Kateera.

14 of President Museveni’s in-laws also held senior government positions including the husband to his wife’s cousin, Muhoozi’s father-in-law, several of his wife’s cousins and their spouses and several of his siblings’ children.

On the business front, several of his relatives own companies that do unhindered business with the government. These businesses include real estate companies, Public Relations firms, procurement firms and import/export businesses. Among his relatives who hold such companies- or work for government agencies that can influence contracts for his relatives include his children, children’s spouses, his wife’s cousins, his son’s in-laws and his siblings.

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