By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
President Yoweri Museveni has apologized to Kenya and Uganda over his son, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s wild posts on Twitter.
According to the president, it is not correct for public officers– be they civilian or military– to comment or interfere in any way, in the internal affairs of other countries.
“Dear Ugandans, the brotherly People of Kenya, and all East Africans. I greet all of you. Again, I hail the peaceful elections in Kenya recently where H.E. William Ruto emerged as the winner. I, again, congratulate him on that victory. I ask our Kenyan brothers and sisters to forgive us for tweets sent by General Muhoozi, former Commander of Land Forces here, regarding the election matters in that great country,” Mr. Museveni said in a Wednesday afternoon statement.
According to the president, the only available legitimate forum is the Peer Review Mechanism of the African Union or personal interactions among “us or EAC and AU fora – not public comments.”
“Very sorry, ndugu zetu Wakenya. Also sorry to the Ugandans who could have been annoyed by one of their officials meddling in the affairs of brother Kenya. I know that General Muhoozi is a passionate Pan- Africanist. However, the correct method for Pan- Africanists is confidential interactions or using the available fora (EAC and AU), especially if you are a Public officer,” Mr. Museveni, 78, explained before added.
He said he had conveyed all his views confidentially to Kenya president William Ruto.
His apology comes hours after he promoted his son to a four-star general –the highest rank in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and relieved him of the post of Commander Land Forces (CLF) following a Monday Twitter meltdown, warning that he (Muhoozi) would only need two weeks with his army to capture Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
Why, then, promote him to full General after the comments?
According to the president, there are many other positive contributions the former Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Commander Land Forces (CLF) has made and can still make.
“This is because this mistake (comments on Kenya) is one aspect where he has acted negatively as a public officer. There are, however, many other positive contributions the General has made and can still make. This is a time-tested formula – discourage the negative and encourage the positive,” Mr. Museveni said in the Wednesday afternoon statement.
At 48, the senior presidential advisor of special operations becomes the youngest serving four-star general, giving him wider clout in the aftermath of the mass retirement of generals of the Bush War that catapulted Museveni to power in January 1986.