Uganda: First Son Gen Muhoozi's army 'retirement' announcement draws mixed reactions

    What you need to know:

    • Opposition National Unity Platform deputy spokesperson Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro said his party will very soon seek an indictment against Muhoozi over alleged “crimes against humanity and disgracing our military uniform.”
    • Born April 24, 1974, Muhoozi has a history of urging youths to join armed forces while he has also extensively used his online presence to vaunt successful manoeuvres of the army under his father's command.

    The 47-year-old Ugandan army chief and First Son Tuesday made a somewhat shocking revelation, disclosing that he has retired from the national army after over two decades of service- flaring debate on rumoured presidential ambitions.

    Some reactions:

    Eight years?
    Many hours after his revelation on his darling microblogging public communication tool, the powerful First Son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, retweeted a chucklesome video posted at 5:03pm by his friend and veteran Ugandan journalist Andrew Mwenda.

    In the video, the visiting Mwenda states that the serviceman’s retirement is due in 8 years before Muhoozi, 47, strongly responds, “exactly.”

    A top army official early Tuesday said he “could not confirm the news” of Muhoozi’s proclaimed retirement.

    Author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija

    Self-exiled vocal award-winning Ugandan author Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, 33, furthered torture accusations against Muhoozi who is according to him “now headed to aspire for a public office to proliferate looting of our coffers."

    “We're doomed if we don't thwart his budding aspirations,” said Kakwenza who fled the country -to Germany- after being charged with insulting the First family.

    Journalist Alan Kasujja

    Veteran Ugandan journalist Alan Kasujja questioned if Muhoozi’s quest for retirement was “a result of contestations/friction/schism between the old order of the UPDF (NRA) and younger blood?”

    In a December 19, 2021 tweet, Muhoozi who is the commander of UPDF land forces expressed concern over growing resistance “from some of his elders in the military.”

    “People who should have been supporting me, were fighting me all the time,” he said as he “only described that as backward culture.”

    'Experiment'
    Muhoozi’s announcement which appears to have skipped key Ugandan military protocols has some citizens saying “it was experimental to provoke public reaction.”

    “A very big lie, those who will believe it haven't studied the politics of this country,” technician Ronald Ogwang reasoned.

    Legislator Phiona Nyamutoro
    For the National Female Youth Member of Parliament Phiona Nyamutoro, “the awaited announcement had to come on women's day.”

    'Muhoozi 2026'
    Amidst the reactions on mainstream social media services, one message screams frequently from an apparent army of supporters of the ill-famed #MuhooziProject and 2026 presidency.

    “It’s timely and well calculated. He’s served well as required and is the most dangerous substitute we have,” a one Musabe Muhumuza wrote on Facebook.

    Another Ugandan, Humprey Kasozi made a direct plea to Muhoozi to “start attending public gatherings, TV and radio talk shows to get closer to the citizens.”

    “You are getting closer to the presidential seat. The military uniform will be for special occasions,” he advised.

    NUP says
    Speaking to this publication Tuesday evening, Opposition National Unity Platform deputy spokesperson Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro said his party will very soon seek an indictment against Muhoozi over alleged “crimes against humanity and disgracing our military uniform.”

    Releasing Muhoozi from the army would ensure that he has no immunity to that, according to the NUP party which polled closest to Museveni's 58% win through January 2021 polls.

    "...and his announcement is a notice to us on a purported capture of the State as they transition from a democracy to an oligarchy,” Mufumbiro said of what he perceives as a succession plan.

    Government whip Thomas Tayebwa
    “Thank you for your dedicated service to the country Gen. The journey has just begun,” government chief whip Thomas Tayebwa commented on Muhoozi’s disclosure that emerged just under 30 minutes before his 77-year-old father addressed more than 300 people convened at Kololo Independence Grounds for the annual International Women’s Day celebrations, March 8.

    ‘We are fearless’
    Born April 24, 1974, Muhoozi has a history of urging youths to join armed forces while he has also extensively used his online presence to vaunt successful manoeuvres of the army under his father, President Museveni’s supreme command from the early 1980s.

    “There is something about us relentless warriors! Haters call us every name under the heavens! But that's more of a reflection about how they feel about themselves! We are fearless! We are victorious! And we are always very cool!” he noted on February 23.

    UPDF Act
    Meantime, his intent to retire remains a subject of the army's approval under the UPDF Act, 2005.

    “An officer may in writing tender the resignation of his or her commission to the board but shall not, unless otherwise ordered by the Chief of Defence Forces, be relieved of the duties of his or her appointment until he or she has received notification, in writing, of the approval of his or her resignation by the board,” reads section 66 (1) of the Act.

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    Evarist Chahali

    Evarist Chahali

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