Ugandan president replaces son as army chief after controversial tweets

The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, has announced Tuesday the appointment of Muhanga Kanyanja as the new head of the Army to replace his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, after the controversy of the last hours after the latter said he could take “in two weeks” the capital of Kenya, Nairobi.

Museveni has however promoted his son to the rank of general, while keeping him in the position of advisor to the Presidency in charge of special operations, as reported by the portal Chimp Reports. The Ugandan president’s son himself has retweeted the news.

Just a few minutes earlier, the Ugandan government had distanced itself from Kainerugaba’s statements and stressed that “it does not conduct its foreign policy and other official activities through social media nor does it rely on social media sources to address issues with other sovereign governments.”

Thus, the Ugandan Foreign Ministry has stressed in a statement that Uganda “appreciates the strong bilateral relations between the people and Government of Kenya and Uganda through history, common values, mutual respect, trust and desire to build a unified East African Community,” after acknowledging the “debate” generated on social networks by the words of Museveni’s son.

“To this end, the Government of Uganda wishes to reiterate its commitment to good neighborliness, peaceful coexistence and cooperation.” The statement has come in the face of the uproar over the statements of Museveni’s son, who has continued during this Tuesday with his controversial statements.

Kainerugaba began his statements Monday by extolling the figure of former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, whom he described as “a big brother” and “an incredible man.” “My only problem with my dear big brother is that he did not run for a third term. We would have won easily,” he said.

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Kenyatta recently left office after failing to run for president after serving his two constitutional terms. The election resulted in the victory of his deputy president, William Ruto, from whom he had distanced himself in recent years, going so far as to support the candidacy of former prime minister and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Subsequently, Museveni’s son continued to post messages on his Twitter account, where he spoke of a “revolution” that Kenyans would “soon know about.” “It would only take me and my Army two weeks to take Nairobi,” he said, a message that accumulated more than 6,200 retweets and nearly 8,900 replies.

“I am glad that our district members in Kenya responded enthusiastically to my tweet. Still two weeks left to be in Nairobi,” he noted, before asking “where should I live once the (Ugandan) Army takes Nairobi.”

“Fellow Kenyans, we are going to be one country. Any war against us would end quickly. The borders set by the colonizers mean nothing to the revolutionaries. Nairobi!” added Museveni’s son, who later said he was “happy” to have “scared Kenyans a little”.

In this line, he stressed that “two weeks is a lot” and added that “in Nairobi in a week, for sure,” although he later said that he would “never assault the Kenyan Army” because his father “told him not to try.” “Our people in Kenya should relax,” he qualified.

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Kainerugaba later posted a photo of himself asking “how many East Africans still love him,” while just this Tuesday he reiterated that “colonial borders must fall.”

“I had a good discussion with my father this morning. Apparently, my tweets have scared Kenyans a lot. He will announce changes,” he said, before stressing that he has conveyed to Museveni that East Africans “have decided to be one nation.”

“Threats will not stop us from achieving the goal,” he has pointed out, before advocating a union between Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. “No honorable man can allow these artificial and colonial borders to continue to exist. If our generation has men, these borders must fall,” he has argued.

Subsequently, he has pointed out that after the creation of the “East African Federation,” Museveni will be president, Ruto will be vice president, Kenyatta will be foreign minister and he himself will be the commander of the unified forces. “After capturing Nairobi, I will take my wife for a ride”, he concluded.

Meanwhile, Uganda’s ambassador to Nairobi, Hassan Galiwango, has been summoned to a meeting with Kenyan Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua, who confirmed the meeting and noted on his Twitter account that “interesting matters were discussed.” Mutua has further applauded the Ugandan Foreign Ministry’s statement with “clarifications”.

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