Son of long-serving Museveni to run for Uganda presidency in 2026

The outspoken army general seems intent on replacing his father, who has ruled the East African country for 37 years, as president.

Muhoozi Kainerugaba
Muhoozi Kainerugaba, son of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, attends a 'thanksgiving' ceremony in Entebbe, Uganda, May 7, 2022 [File: Hajarah Nalwadda/AP Photo]

The son of Uganda’s ageing leader, Yoweri Museveni, has said he intends to stand for the presidency in 2026, the first time the outspoken army general has given a timeline for replacing his father, who has ruled the East African country for 37 years.

“You have wanted me to say it forever! Okay, in the name of Jesus Christ my God, in the name of all the young people of Uganda and the world and in the name of our great revolution, I will stand for the Presidency in 2026,” Museveni’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba wrote on Twitter late on Wednesday.

Uganda’s opposition has long accused Museveni of seeking to impose a monarchy on the state and claimed he was grooming Kainerugaba to take over from him.

Museveni has denied such accusations.

Currently a presidential adviser, the 48-year-old general is known for firing off controversial tweets that have earned him reprimands from his father.

In another tweet on Wednesday, he expressed his impatience at waiting so long to replace his father. “The Prime Minister of UK is 42 years old, the Prime Minister of Finland is 37 years. Some of us are hitting 50 years old. We are tired of waiting forever,” he said.

Kainerugaba quickly deleted the tweets about his presidential aspirations but later retweeted quotes about them.

He previously served as commander of land forces but was removed from the position after threatening to invade neighbouring Kenya, which he later said was a joke.

The tweets set off a chain of diplomatic meetings between both countries in Kampala and Nairobi, as well as a rare presidential apology.

But he was also crucial in repairing strained relations between Uganda and neighbouring Rwanda, ending a rift between Museveni and former protege Paul Kagame, whom Kainerugaba calls his uncle, in 2022.

Museveni has not yet said whether he intends to stand again in 2026 for a record seventh term, although his supporters have encouraged him to do so.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies