President Yoweri Museveni has publicly expressed his discomfort with the way his son and commander of the Land forces uses social media.
Speaking last evening at State House Entebbe at a dinner organized to celebrate Lt. Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s 48th birthday, Museveni cautioned his son against ‘externalizing his passions.’
“Ugandans saw something new in the NRM but would have achieved more if we had more committed cadres, with passion about development of their country. Finally, there is something positive about his tweets, because he tweets about his passion, on this and that. But the problem is that you should not externalize your passion. Work on the issues of the tweets and the surroundings of the tweets,” said Museveni.
Muhoozi is an avid user of Twitter and in February he caused quite a stir when he declared that he had quit the army. Few hours later, he retracted the tweet but those with insider knowledge say he received a tongue lashing from Museveni for making “reckless” declarations. Earlier this month, Muhoozi unexpectedly deactivated his Twitter account after accusing the social media giant of gagging him before returning a week later.
Muhoozi has also in the past tweeted about Uganda’s support for Egypt in its war with Ethiopia over the Nile waters. At the start of the current conflict in Europe, Muhoozi also tweeted his support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine despite of Uganda’s nonaligned position it has taken on the matter.
Commenting about the same issue, Rwanda President Paul Kagame who was in the country to also attend Muhoozi’s fete offered to help him.
“Gen. Muhoozi I want to offer a service to you. I want to start editing your Twitter account,” said Kagame.
Yesterday’s dinner and Saturday’s public celebrations in Kampala are viewed by many as the firing of the first bullet in Muhoozi’ long journey to replace his father as president. Addressing a public gathering on Saturday, Muhoozi made clearly political declarations that UPDF serving officers are not allowed by law to make.
At the dinner, attended by who is who in the NRM hierarchy and the army, Museveni who has also repeatedly denied that he is grooming his son to succeed him also made statements that appeared to be re-enforcing the view held by many people.
“I want to congratulate you on your 48 years. Thank you, friends, of Muhoozi for organizing all these events. Muhoozi was a gift for us in our young days of the struggle…When he finished university, I told him that he should first join the army because it will build his character…Many countries in Africa have got security problems because of the structure of their armies. People like Muhoozi joined the army not because of a job but because of his passion. That’s why Muhoozi has made some contribution to the building of the UPDF,” said Museveni.
For his part, Kagame too indicated that Muhoozi is destined for bigger things. “48 years means he has been here for some time but also means he is still very young. The question is how has he lived his time and how he intends to use his remaining time. There is no doubt, that many more years that are ahead, he will use them even better. I want also to say to Gen Muhoozi that there is a lot of expectations that you continue that path you have taken,” Kagame said.
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