Museveni’s son leaves military, allegedly preparing for presidency

Muhoozi Kainerugaba, a son of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, arrives at the scene of a blast in Kampala July 12, 2010. [Reuters]

The lieutenant general son of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has retired from the military.

On Tuesday, March 8, Muhoozi Kainerugaba broke the news of his retirement, in a move widely seen as preparing the ground for a potential run for the presidency in 2026.

"After 28 years of service in my glorious military, the greatest military in the world, I am happy to announce my retirement," Kainerugaba said on Twitter on Tuesday, without giving reasons for his retirement.

Critics of President Yoweri Museveni say the president’s son is likely to run for the presidency in the next four years.

Kainerugaba has been in the military for more than 20 years, was allegedly rushed through the ranks by his father.

Many Ugandans believe Kainerugaba is being groomed to succeed Museveni.

Museveni,77, who has ruled the East African country since 1986, has repeatedly denied accusations he wanted to hand over power to his son.

Despite this, Kainerugaba's supporters say he has a right to seek the country's presidency like any other citizen.

Kainerugaba, a prolific Twitter user who expressed his support for Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, this year helped mend Uganda's strained relations with neighbouring Rwanda after travelling to Kigali and meeting President Paul Kagame.

Supporters of Kainerugaba, 47, have been pressing a campaign on social media and elsewhere for him to stand in 2026, although he has not publicly declared any intention to run for office. Ugandan law forbids soldiers from participating in politics.

Human rights groups, Ugandan opposition and government critics have long accused his father of using the military to keep himself in power through intimidating and jailing his opponents.

Museveni was re-elected in January last year, beating pop star-turned-politician Bobi Wine. Wine rejected the result, alleging widespread irregularities.