Uganda’s first son and commander of the Land Forces, Lt-Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, elicits mixed reactions with his tweets. For his relentless political and social posts, he has garnered a large following on Twitter.
Muhoozi, was, until a few years ago, living in his father’s shadow. However, he has become a social media sensation, creating a frenzy with every tweet, creating talking points and riling many of his 449,000 followers.
His tweets almost always trend in Uganda because they are raw and uncut, providing his followers with "a live feed" of Gen Muhoozi, much like former US president Donald Trump.
It is not known whether he has a social media handler or manages his own account, but one thing is certain — come Friday, expect a Muhoozi tweet storm.
And without fail, Muhoozi will tweet in a shoot-before-you-aim style. His content includes tweets about his social life, like hanging out in a bar, or as he did recently, about his spouse: “My wife Charlotte Nankunda Kainerugaba is the most beautiful woman on earth”.
Most of his tweets are politically radical, confrontational and antagonistic, a far cry from what is expected from an army general.
On January 16, he told off Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s adversaries.
“This is my uncle, Afande Paul Kagame. Those who fight him are fighting my family. They should all be careful,” Muhoozi tweeted, with a caption of two pictures of President Kagame. By Tuesday, it had more than 1,000 retweets.
On the same day, he tweeted about relations between Uganda and Kenya. “Anyone who thinks they can break the bond between Uganda and Kenya should first go ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness! God bless Uganda and Kenya!”
Muhoozi seems to be tweeting oblivious of diplomatic repercussions, considering his rank in government.
One of Muhoozi’s tweets gave away his opinion on the ongoing Tigray conflict pitting the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front. He was criticised on social media by Ugandans, including Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of UNAids.
The tweet read: “I urge my great and brave brothers in the Tigrayan Defense Forces to listen to the words of Gen Yoweri Museveni. I am as angry as you and I support your cause. Those who raped our Tigrayan sisters and killed our brothers must be punished!”
Byanyima, the wife of opposition politician Kizza Besigye commented on Muhoozi’s tweet: “Please delete this tweet. It is risking the lives of Ugandans working and living in Ethiopia.”
Muhoozi shot back: “Madame Winnie. Good to hear from you. It's been a long time. I last saw you in SH [State House] in 1987. It is the responsibility of the Ethiopian gov’t to protect all citizens & visitors in Addis & the rest of the country. If the TDF is doing it in areas they control, why shouldn't the gov’t?”
Journey to the military
Muhoozi was born in 1974 in Dar es Salaam. His early education was in Tanzania, and later at Mount Kenya Academy in Nyeri, Kenya and in Sweden. When Museveni took power in 1986, the family returned to Uganda, and Muhoozi attended the Kampala Parents School, King's College Budo and St Mary's College Kisubi.
In 1999, Muhoozi joined the Uganda People’s Defence Force as an officer cadet, and graduated in 2000 from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He later attended the Egyptian Military Academy. He also attended the Kalama Armoured Warfare Training School. He later took a one-year course at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, graduating in June 2008.
In 2013, a senior officer in the army, Gen David Sejusa, claimed Muhoozi was being groomed to succeed his father.