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Museveni succession

An army of surprises

The current highest level of leadership in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) is in the mid-50s and will be in their early 60’s by 2026.

It is also difficult to look into the crystal ball of the military because President Museveni routinely promotes, shuffles, and retires them. The UPDF strategic force today appears to be in the Gen. Muhoozi cohort, most of who are between the ranks of Brigadier and Colonel. Following normal career paths, these will be the major generals, and lieutenant generals of 2026. Prominent names of today such as Lt. Generals Charles Lutaaya, Joseph Musanyufu, Peter Elwelu, Lakara Nakibus, Prossy Nalweyiso, John Mugume and Pecos Kutesa could either have retired or slowed down. Their positions will have been taken over by the likes of current major generals; Sabiiti Muzeyi, Leopold Kyanda, Don Nabasa, Joram Tumwine and more.

This list is big.

While many of them have tended not to make political statements, they have acted.

Indeed, the military today has permanent representation in parliament, heads the police, deploys heavily during elections, protects all the key strategic installations, and has `attaches’ or spies in key ministries, among others.

Museveni has also deployed military doctors to replace striking doctors, has commanded military operatives to raid parliament and forcefully ejected legislators opposed to his quest to lift the constitutional age limit, and has made the intelligence arm of the military—the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI)—the most dominant security agency.

Apart from this, the army has in the past sprung some of the biggest challengers of Museveni.

Retired Col. Kizza Besigye was a Museveni confidant for 19 years until he rebelled in 1999. At the time he rebelled, Besigye was a Senior Military Adviser to the Ministry of Defence. He has since, as the flag-bearer of the biggest opposition party, challenged Museveni at the polls thrice.

Col. Besigye’s successor as president of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, was an army commander under Museveni for nine years.

Another soldier, Gen. David Sejusa aka Tinyefuza sparked excitement with his 2012 letters and particularly the last one warning of a plan to eliminate those against the Muhoozi project. At the time he fled into exile in London, he was a member of the army High Command, the army’s top governing body, a Senior Presidential Advisor on defence, and the coordinator of Military Intelligence. Capt. Ruhinda Maguru, a former Aide-de-Camp to Museveni has twice challenged him for leadership within the ruling NRM party.   The other high ranking retired army officer, Maj.Gen. Benon Biraaro challenged Museveni in the 2016 elections.

Interestingly, all eight governments in Uganda, except two, since independence in 1962 have been over-thrown in a military coup. This has made Uganda the most coup-prone country in the region; with an average of a coup for every six years, before Museveni came to power in a coup in 1986.

Currently, Museveni does not see the army as threat. A few years ago while addressing a judges’ conference in Entebbe, Museveni scoffed at “idiots” who say that the NRM government can be overthrown by arms.

“Some of these people are just idiots…” the president said, “They just go around that they want to overthrow the Uganda government, Uganda government to overthrow it? You don’t know what you are talking about…the NRM government to overthrow it with arms…but that is our speciality.”

While Museveni appears in charge now, by the time he is in his 80s the situation might be different. It is not impossible to see how that could force the army to intervene.

In Zimbabwe, with Robert Mugabe seen as seen as a senile at 93, his once-trusted army commander, Gen. Constatino Chiwenga, turned against him.

In Algeria, chief of staff General Ahmed Gaid Salah, has joined the opposition and called for the aged and ailing 82-year old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down.

For now, however, Museveni and his handlers do not appear bothered about such events.

Graphic

  • The Museveni brand fatigue and the age of family members by 2026 could make hard to sell as successors.
  • VP Ssekandi, Prime Minister Rugunda and Speaker Kadaga are seen as potential successors within the party.
  • Once seen as successors with in the NRM, Amama Mbabazi, former Vice President Gilbert Bukenya quit the party
  • Besigye, Mao, Muntu and Bobi Wine stand a fair chance working together but at the moment each of them wants to strike alone
  • CDF Gen. David Muhoozi: The military leadership is seen as the ultimate decision-maker on who succeeds Museveni.

 

16 comments

  1. Ugandans are very,very,very ready to put His Excellency President Bobi Wine into power constiuationally although the barkings of those dogs sound higher.85% of BOBI’s votes will come from youths,10% from adults while 5% from oppositions themselves.The ruling party(NRM) members have long waited for both change and succession all invain.Therefore,the raising of president BOBI Made all the ugandans to celebrate!

  2. We can talk of all but let’s not forget God’s age limits to all humans. We can plan but it’s only God who makes our plans successful. Let’s give God time to decide on who next after Museveni.

  3. Nalwadda Angela

    I don’t see anyone capable of moving Uganda further among those aspiring for presidency other than President Museveni. Being angry at the one in power because of what you see is different from being bke to change what you see.Let the aspirants bring on table what they want to be changed and HOW. Uganda was led by many people in the past who just wanted to be on power than improve the nation. We have moved from endless wars to peace and that’s key because all progress starts from having an environment that favours it,our economy is improving day by day and of course there are some things we are discontented about but is the one you want to put in power able to satisfy them? How much have they changed their own area? What do they hope to put in place? I want change but that which is realistic ie improve us. Its all about Uganda.

    • So who should be Uganda’s leader after Museveni if you don’t see any other capable person. So will Uganda stop to exist if Museveni dies. Or rather will he not die. stop being a bigot.

    • Your hero is not growing any younger and he has stubbornly refused to give space to anyone even within his stable to take over from him. He reminds me of Adolf Hitler who almost took Germany with him to hell. #People_Power_Our_Power👊💪🏽 #Tuliyambala_Engule 👑

  4. Museveni has been a good leader for all his time in the office even up to now he is so good than all the Ugandan leaders before him. But now there is problem with his foreign policies of confusing the neighbouring countries so any changes in the neighboring countries would means a lot in the politic of Uganda. And the most vital part of his successor would be justified by nature. No worry, as I talk now nobody knows the actual age of his excellency president Museveni hence wait for God’s blessing anytime from now 2019 on ward

  5. Over Museven’s dead body! If he would fail Dr besigye who for one time contributed to his good health what of that Muyaye( bobi) Besigye was more powerful and still he his than bobi but has failed up today.Stop day dreaming.I feel paralised when i see people like you who wish that Muyaye would rule Uganda .That country is big.Its not kyandodo.

  6. Leaders come from God.so let’s not talk I’ll about any leader.let’s wait for 2021 and cast votes respectively. Choices differ but the final judge is God.

  7. Fake article. You are just praising Museveni. Its like he is the only one able.

  8. Seasons come and go, whoever says doesnt see M7’s Successor is probably sick in mind. He is growing old everday and will finally pass on soon. So what next happens to UG.? THINK

  9. M7 has been a great leader but his position in history may be determined by how he leaves power. The best he can do now is to train and groom his successor. We’ll offer him/her our support.

  10. we can talk and talk but it’s time for change please! We need new ideas

  11. Your out off your senses honestly speaking

  12. Muhoozi can take over,he has all what it takes

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