Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni has fired his son as commander of the infantry forces on Tuesday after the son tweeted a series of posts with unprovoked threats to capture the capital of neighboring Kenya, resulting in widespread concern in East Africa.
Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, described as ‘the tweeting general’ of Uganda, in recent months had sparked anger among some Ugandans who see his regular posts on Twitter as provocative and sometimes even dangerous.
He tweets in support of the Tigray rebels fighting Ethiopian federal troops. He’s voiced support for violent rebels fighting Congolese soldiers in the eastern part of that country. He’s said all Africans support Russia in its war in Ukraine. Bizarrely, he said recently he would give 100 long-horned cattle — apparently as bride price — to Italy’s incoming female prime minister.
Some of his supporters say his tweets are attempts at humor and shouldn’t be taken seriously. But many others see a bigger problem. As an army officer, he is constitutionally barred from engaging in partisan politics and some Ugandans point out that any other soldier tweeting like Kainerugaba would be court-martialed.
“It wouldn’t take us, my army and me, 2 weeks to capture Nairobi,” he tweeted Monday.
That threat to seize the capital of Kenya went too far for his father, an authoritarian who has held power since 1986.
Kenyan President William Ruto, who took power last month, is friendly with Museveni, whom he described as the region’s “father” during his inauguration.
Kainerugaba’s tweets exasperated many Kenyans, and the foreign minister tweeted Tuesday that he had a meeting with the Ugandan ambassador.
Uganda’s foreign ministry dismissed Kainerugaba’s tweets in a statement that spoke of a “harmonious relationship that we value.”