Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Ugandan lawyer and academic, Prof Joe Oloka-Onyango has described Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s actions to organize birthday parties and tweets as an attempt to overthrow Uganda’s Constitution.
First son Kainerugaba has been the Special Forces Commander – SFC before he was appointed by his father President Yoweri Museveni in his current position as the Commander of the Land Forces of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces – UPDF.
Kainerugaba’s actions of organizing different birthday celebrations across major towns of Uganda, including controversial tweets expressing interest to ascend to power from his father has generated mixed feelings from Ugandans.
It is on this basis that Prof Oloka, a Law Don at the School of Law, Makerere University has weighed in arguing that Gen Kainerugaba is still a serving officer of the UPDF, thus his public statements and tweets are pre-emptive political utterances go against the provisions of the 1995 Constitution.
With specific reference to Article 208 (2) of the Constitution, Prof Oloka emphasized that the UPDF shall be nonpartisan, national in character, patriotic, professional, and discipline among others which Kainerugaba has already gone against in his actions.
Speaking to URN during an exclusive interview on Friday, Prof Oloka further suggested that act of organizing such birthday bashes is politically motivated, and therefore tantamount to an attempt to suspend directly or indirectly, amend, and or overthrow the Constitution of the Country that Parliament must prevail over.
Prof Oloka was restrained himself from deeper discussions of the matter for fear of prejudice since it is already before court challenged legislators of the 11th Parliament to play its oversight function and prevail over such matters.
Last week, MPs Joseph Gonzaga Ssewungu and Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the MPs for Kalungu County West and Kira Municipality respectively raised the matter of Gen Muhoozi’s birthday parties on the floor of Parliament demanding he should be arrested for treason.
However, the presiding officer Anita Among Annet ruled them out saying there was nothing wrong with celebrating a birthday. She teased Ssemujju that he could also organize a birthday bash and fellow MPs would attend.
Muhoozi’s presidential ambitions ignited debate when he turned his 48th birthday celebrations on 24 April, 2022 into a national event characterized by parties with the main one hosted by his father at State House Entebbe and attended by a foreign head of state, Gen Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, a move seen as intended to popularize his bid for the top job.
Since then, Human Rights Lawyer Gawaya Tegulle has petitioned the Constitutional Court in Kampala seeking an order directing Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba to desist from carrying on political activities while he is still a serving officer in the army.
The first son is jointly sued with the Chief of Defense Forces as the second respondent for failure to advise or warn Muhoozi about the legality and untenable nature of his actions, character and conduct that contravenes the Constitution and the UPDF Act, 2005.
The Attorney General was sued as a third responded for alleged failure to provide good, fitting and proper legal advice and guidance to the UPDF in general and Muhoozi in particular.