Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has appointed his son as the new Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations. Maj-Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba is the president’s eldest son and a major general in the Ugandan army. Until now, Kainerugaba had served as the head of the army’s special forces unit. According to the Star, a military spokesman said Kainerugaba was appointed on Monday night and will now be in charge of sensitive security installations, while also overseeing the president’s security detail.
Thanks to his father’s influence, the 42-year-old Kainerugaba has enjoyed a meteoric rise through military ranks. As the commander of the special forces, he was directly responsible for his father’s security. Kainerugba’s former deputy, Don Nabaasa, has also been promoted to Colonel.
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Army spokesman, Paddy Ankuda, has tried to pass off the appointment as a standard operational procedure, describing it as part of normal changes that are necessary for institutional growth. Critics and political observers, however, say they suspect Museveni is actively grooming his son to succeed him in Uganda’s top job.
The 72-year-old Museveni has been Uganda’s president since 1986 after he led a successful rebellion that ousted former President Idi Amin from power. Today, after more than three decades in office, Museveni is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders. In 2016, he received the most votes in an election that the opposition said was marred with irregularities.
Following his re-election, Musuveni appointed his wife, Janet Musuveni, as education minister and another one of his sons, Salim Saleh, serves as his personal advisor. Critics say Kainerugba’s appointment is the latest in an ugly trend of nepotism by some of Africa’s most ignoble leaders.
In June of last year, Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo appointed his playboy son as the new vice president through a presidential decree. In a move that is definitely an attempt to prop the 47-year-old, who is facing corruption charges in France, as his successor.
2016 also saw Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos sack the entire board of state-owned oil firm Sanongol and appointing his billionaire daughter, Isabel, as the new CEO.