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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Uganda’s president makes son general, appoints him overall commander of special forces

Uganda’s president makes son general, appoints him overall commander of special forces

By Associated Press, Published: August 27

KAMPALA, Uganda — Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni made his son a one-star general and appointed him overall commander of the country’s special forces, leading some Ugandans to conclude that the son is being groomed to succeed his father.
In changes announced on Monday, Col. Muhoozi Kainerugaba was made a brigadier-general, the latest promotion in the 38-year-old’s quick rise through the ranks. Some Ugandans have long believed that Museveni, who took power by force in 1986, is nurturing his son to eventually take over from him when he retires.

Mwambutsya Ndebesa, a political historian at Uganda’s Makerere University, said the promotion gives that credence.
“Museveni might now be confirming the rumors that he is preparing his son for succession,” Ndebesa said. “It’s just unimaginable that this is happening.”

In his new role Kainerugaba, who received some military training at the elite Sandhurst British academy, will be the chief protector of his father and resources such as oil wells. While he previously reported to the chief army commander, it appears that now he will answer directly to his father.

Some analysts say that Kainerugaba’s rise through the army has been a source of resentment for the more senior army officers who see the first son as being shamelessly fast-tracked toward the point when he will assume firm control of the Ugandan military. Uganda’s most senior army officers are veterans of the bush war that brought Museveni to power in January 1986, when Kainerugaba was not yet a teenager.

Nicholas Sengoba, a political analyst based in Kampala, said Kainerugaba’s promotion had made it clearer that Museveni wants his son to have more say in the military going forward.

“It’s been quite obvious that Muhoozi is headed for big things,” Sengoba said. “This vindicates those who have been critical of Museveni. The doubts are being removed slowly.”

Throughout his political career Museveni has been dogged by accusations that he practices nepotism. His wife is a Cabinet minister and his brother used to be one.

Museveni, who was reelected last year, has not said if he will run again when his current term expires in 2016. But he faces pressure within and outside the ruling party to quit and preside over what would be the first peaceful transfer of power in Uganda’s history.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Museveni promotes Muhoozi to brigadier


Posted  Tuesday, August 28  2012 at  01:00

Col. Muhoozi Kainerugaba was yesterday promoted to the rank of Brigadier and put in charge of a new-look Special Forces.

President Museveni, who is the commander-in-chief, announced the changes yesterday. Brig. Kainerugaba, who is also the First Son, will command the Special Forces Command, formerly the Special Forces Group, which has been restructured and divided into Special Forces One and Special Forces Two.

Special Forces One will handle VIP protection and will be under the command of Lt. Col. Sabiiti Magyenyi Mzee who has been promoted to Colonel while Special Forces Group Two has motorised infantry will be under Maj. Don Nabasa.
They will both work under Brig. Kainerugaba. The special Forces Group Two has tanks, marines and other armoured vehicles.

In a statement issued yesterday, acting Army spokesperson Capt. Chris Magezi described the restructuring of the presidential guard as a move to enhance the operations of the unit.

“The President and Commander-in-Chief has also decided to re-organise the Special Forces Group (SFG) into Special Forces Command (SFC) which will be under the Overall Command of Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba who has been promoted from the rank of Col.,” he said.

“The re-organisation is designed to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the Special Forces Command in the conduct of its operations which among others include VIP protection and protection of strategic installations.”

Others changes
In other changes, Maj. Gen. Fred Mugisha, the former commander of the African Union Forces in Somalia (Amisom) who was also Commander Field Artillery Division, is the new Joint Chief of Staff, replacing Lt. Gen. Robert Rusoke who was last week appointed Ugandan ambassador to South Sudan.

Brig. Charles Angina, the former chairman of the UPDF General Court-Martial, has been promoted to major general and returns to his former position of Chief of Staff Land forces, replacing Brig. Silver Kayemba.

When asked about Brig. Kayemba’s new role, Capt. Magezi said: “More announcements would be made soon. There is no communication about him but more details are expected to be announced by the Commander-in-Chief.”
The spokesman did not give any details.

Col. Magyenyi, who holds a masters degree in biochemistry from South Africa, has been the SFG commander for the last one year while Brig. Muhoozi was attending a course in the same country.

The promotion is another feather in Brig. Muhoozi’s cap, which has seen him rise from a second lieutenant in 1999. Observers have raised questions about the speed of the First Son’s ascent in the army with some suggesting that President Museveni could be grooming his son to run the country in future but Muhoozi has repeatedly defended his advance as being on merit.

Army insiders say Brig. Muhoozi’s promotions have been backed by staff and command training in Sandhurst, UK, Fort Leavenworth, USA, Egypt, Nigeria, Israel, South Africa, and Uganda.

Brig. Muhoozi biography
Born: 1974
Schools attended: Kampala Parents School, St. Mary’s College Kisubi and Kings College Budo...
Marital status: Married
Occupation: Commander of Special Forces
Rank: Brigadier
Joined Army: 1999
Role Models: Che Guevara, an Argentine Marxist revolutionary and guerilla leader; Salim Saleh, Fred Rwigyema and President Museveni
Hometown: Rushere