NRM cowers as Gen Muhoozi guns it down

General Muhoozi Kainerugaba

Yes, General Muhoozi Kainerugaba has levelled fierce criticism at his father Yoweri Museveni’s ruling NRM and described it as a political party that doesn’t represent the people of Uganda.

“I am listening to the outcry of our people for change. I am with the people! Whatever NRM has become certainly does not represent the people of Uganda,” Muhoozi tweeted at the weekend.

He said, “We shall jointly create the sixth republic. The first was Obote I, the second was Idi Amin, the third was Milton Obote II, the fourth was Okello and the fifth was NRM. We will be the sixth Republic! The greatest epoch in our history!” he said cementing his late conversion into a severe critic of NRM and a surprise advocate for regime change in the country.

Last Friday, December 2, he said, “I believe in Jesus Christ, and I believe in my father, General @KagutaMuseveni. I certainly do not believe in NRM. In Marxist terms, it is probably the most reactionary organization in the country.”

That tweet drew a response from Col Kizza Besigye who said, “There now seems to be a point I may agree on with @ mkainerugaba: that NRM is “probably the most reactionary organization in the country”! “What he’s yet to find out, is that NRM is an outfit for organised crime and that it is M7, his father.”

No one within the NRM hierarchy is responding to Muhoozi’s tirades. The president is loudly silent, the ruling NRM officials are speaking in whispers, afraid to be heard and the army says it can’t discuss individuals. Muhoozi is towering over everyone.

In an apparent direct attack on his brother-in-law, Odrek Rwabogo who is said to harbour his own presidential ambitions at least according to former presidential secretary Tamale Mirundi, Muhoozi yesterday tweeted “Let our people not be confused. Jesus Christ our God only flows in our blood. In the family of Amos Kaguta!!! Those who marry into us can NEVER qualify to say anything. Except my brother-in-law Edwin Karugire.”

Muhoozi’s populist rhetoric seems to be tailored at mobilizing political support among the disgruntled young Turks who feel sidelined by the old guard. He wants to be the undisputed leader of the younger generation of NRM loyalists who undoubtly are a big voting bloc.

Balaam Barugahara, a known promoter of the Muhoozi project, said in a recent interview, that the MK movement aims to awaken the old, lazy NRM cadres who have refused to allow energetic, youthful cadres to run party activities effectively.

“We are putting in place structures to prepare Gen Muhoozi to take over from his father when the time comes. We are doing it independently. We are not attached to NRM. The lazy old cadre hates our organization. They call it diversionary…” he added.

Interviewed for a comment about Muhoozi’s Twitter tirades at the weekend, Emmanuel Dombo, the NRM spokesperson, said issues of generals can only be handled by generals. Richard Twodong, the secretary general of NRM, didn’t return our calls at the weekend.

However, in an interview weeks ago, Todwong said he received complaints from loyal NRM cadres. He said the party’s central executive committee is in constant touch with the party chairman, and the president is aware of everything on the ground.

Todwong advised early campaigners to focus on improving service delivery instead of acting like they are decision-makers in the party.

“It’s just one year in office, and it’s not yet time for any candidate and their teams to campaign. I am working hard to resolve any confusion in the party and as of now, I have embarked on organizing the different groups involved in early presidential campaigns,” he said, adding, “I am guiding them on how they can have a common goal of helping out the party to deliver quality service to the people.”

On Monday, December 5, Gen Muhoozi was unrelenting in his tweets.

“Some people keep saying I want to be president? Frankly speaking, that has never been on my mind. I’m already the leader of my generation! That’s the highest honour I can think of. Our generation will be the greatest!!

A few minutes later, at 11:56am, the general tweeted, “Okay, let those who want me to be President after my father retweet and like. If you can convince me, I will do it.”

At 12:15 pm. on December 5, 2022, he said, “In a few weeks, I will make an important announcement. Not on Twitter but by other means. I will make it in my personal capacity and as the leader of our generation.”

At 14:42 pm on 05/12/2022, he had switched tone, “Those people signing declarations against us in the NRM. We will teach you what Uganda means. This country belongs to Almighty God and the people of Uganda. Let us see who is stronger: you or us?”

Those and many other tweets that keep coming open a wide window into Muhoozi’s state of mind and that of the NRM, even as loyalists of the ruling party continue to advise jittery allies to generally ignore the tweets.

Muhoozi by and large is the first, immediate first family member to turn his guns against the party led by his father. He seems to be venting at the old guard, who he sees as the real stumbling block to his presidential ambition. When he was dropped as commander of Land Forces last October, Muhoozi signalled that some seniors had convinced his father to fire him. He is out to settle some score.

The NRM old guard, on the other hand, is helpless and frustrated that President Museveni is loudly silence as Muhoozi and his army of loyalists continue to mount an early campaign for his presidential bid.

Muhoozi loyalist and Kasambya MP Daudi Kabanda said anyone who frustrates the young generation from taking over from the old generation is an enemy of Uganda’s progress, and “we shall not give them any chance to determine our future. We shall shape our own future.”

Led by Michael Nuwagira Toyota, the president’s younger brother, the MK (Muhoozi Kainerugaba) movement’s army of adoring loyalists is whipping up the presidential ambitions of the First Son, who has since started expressing his bold desire to lead the country.

The general’s loyalists have launched an aggressive campaign for a 2026 presidential bid for Muhoozi almost a year into President Museveni’s new term.

There are branded T-shirts, jumpers, caps, shirts and posters printed, distributed and worn by his legion of supporters, loudly touting Muhoozi’s leadership prowess. These enthusiastic fans are being rallied by Team Chairman (Toyota) MK Brand, an organization that supports and promotes the successes of General Muhoozi, who was promoted last month to the rank of general and dropped as commander of the land forces.

Team MK brand plans visits to Arua and other cities. To counter the young Turks, the old guard is coalescing around Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire. The minister of Internal Affairs has vowed to die fighting for a Museveni presidency. Vice President Maj. Jessica Alupo, Interior Minister Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, and Defense Minister Vincent Sempijja were some of the leaders who signed a letter last month in support of President Yoweri Museveni’s re-election bid in 2026.

Museveni, 78, has ruled since 1986. In 2026, he will be 82 years old. In perhaps the clearest indication yet that Museveni will run again in 2026, Justice minister Norbert Mao told youths in the western district of Mitooma that the president had tasked him with organizing a consensus for Uganda’s transition, which will begin in 2031.

Article 102 of the Constitution of Uganda stipulates that a person is qualified for election as president if one is a citizen of Uganda by birth; a registered voter; completed a minimum level of formal education of Advanced Level standard or its equivalent.

The UPDF Act bars its officers from participating in politics until they are discharged. Muhoozi is active politically, and nothing is done to him. Muhoozi, however, is not a lifetime officer, and Section 66 (1) of the UPDF Act stipulates that an officer may in writing tender the resignation of his or her commission to the board.

The board thereafter notifies the officer of its decision on his or her application to resign his or her commission within ninety days after receipt of his or her application, and the approval of an application to resign the commission shall not be unreasonably withheld.

Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye said that he doesn’t discuss individuals. Muhoozi joined the army in 1999 and rose through the ranks to full general. He served as commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC) from 2008 to 2017 and was reappointed in December 2020 to 2021.

He also served as commander of the land forces from June 24 2021 to October 4 2022, when he was relieved of his duties and replaced by Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga.

Source: The Observer

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