Uganda's president appoints son as military chief

Credit: REUTERS/ABUBAKER LUBOWA

KAMPALA, March 22 (Reuters) - Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has appointed his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, as head of the military, the defence ministry said on Friday.

Muhoozi Kainerugaba, 48, a general in the military, is widely seen as his father's successor in waiting and once stirred controversy by threatening to invade neighbouring Kenya. The ministry said in a statement he replaces Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, who was removed and appointed as a junior minister.

In 2022, Museveni removed his son as commander of Uganda's land forces after he made threats to invade neighbouring Kenya in posts on social media platform X.

In the posts, Kainerugaba also expressed support for Russia's President Vladimir Putin saying: "The majority of mankind (that are non-white) support Russia's stand in Ukraine."

Kainerugaba has long been viewed as being prepared to take over the presidency from his father, 79, who has ruled the east African country for nearly 40 years.

Although Ugandan laws bar serving military officers from involvement in politics, Kainerugaba frequently trades barbs with opposition politicians and has also formed a pressure group that has been mobilising political support for him, drawing criticism from his critics and the opposition.

Uganda is due to hold its next presidential election in early 2026 and Museveni is widely expected to seek re-election.

(Editing by George Obulutsa and Jacqueline Wong)

((Email:elias.biryabarema@thomsonreuters.com; Tel. +254 20 499 1232; Reuters Messaging: elias.biryabarema.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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