Uganda’s Prodigal Son 

The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, yesterday sacked the commander of the country’s infantry forces, his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba, for his serial misbehavior on Twitter. 

What misbehavior? 

Tagged “the tweeting general” of Uganda, Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba has recently incited resentment among some Ugandans who view his frequent remarks on Twitter as provocative and occasionally even dangerous. In the latest episode of his recalcitrance, which triggered his dismissal, Kainerugaba tweeted an unprovoked threat to capture the capital of East African neighbors Kenya, drawing widespread concern in the sub-region. “It wouldn’t take us, my army and me, 2 weeks to capture Nairobi,” he tweeted Monday. 

Is there a dispute between Kenya and Uganda? 

Not at all, which makes Kainerugaba’s behavior quite concerning. In other such acts of unprofessionalism from an army officer in relation to another country, he tweeted in favor of the rebels in Tigray facing off against Ethiopian government forces. He has expressed support for the rebels battling in eastern Congo. He asserted that all Africans back Russia in its conflict with Ukraine. He also recently said that he was prepared to present the prospective female Prime Minister of Italy with 100 long-horned cattle as bride price. 

How did Kenya react to the threat

Kenya’s Foreign Minister tweeted on Tuesday that he held a meeting with the Ugandan envoy, as Kainerugaba’s remarks infuriated many Kenyans. Kainerugaba’s tweets were disregarded by Uganda’s foreign ministry in a statement that referred to a “harmonious relationship that we value.” Museveni and Kenyan President William Ruto have a cordial relationship. During his recent inauguration, Ruto referred to Museveni as the “father” of the region. 

According to a statement released by the Ugandan military on Tuesday, Kainerugaba was elevated to a four-star general despite being fired from his position as the leader of the country’s infantry forces and will continue to serve as his father’s military adviser. Those who know Kainerugaba describe him as a devoted military man, and those who support his claim that his tweets are humorous attempts that shouldn’t be taken seriously. 

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