Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday apologised to Kenya for tweets sent out by his son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
Gen Muhoozi had tweeted that it would take two weeks for him and his army to capture Nairobi. He went ahead to tell tweeps to suggest where he should live in Nairobi. He also said he would have wished Kenya’s former president Uhuru Kenyatta to seek a third term, saying he would have won.
It wouldn't take us, my army and me, 2 weeks to capture Nairobi.— Muhoozi Kainerugaba (@mkainerugaba) October 3, 2022
I'm glad that I have scared you Kenyans a bit! Two weeks is long. Nairobi in one week for sure! Aided by my brothers from Carnival!— Muhoozi Kainerugaba (@mkainerugaba) October 3, 2022
Muhoozi tweets led to an online battle between Kenyans and Ugandans online.
My only problem with my beloved big brother is that he didn't stand for a third term. We would have won easily! pic.twitter.com/6fmsJSXkii— Muhoozi Kainerugaba (@mkainerugaba) October 3, 2022
But, signing off his statement as The Man with a Hat, President Museveni said, "I ask our Kenyan brothers and sisters to forgive us for tweets sent by General Muhoozi, former Commander of Land Forces here, regarding the election matters in that great country.
"It is not correct for Public officers, be they civilian or military, to comment or interfere in any way, in the internal affairs of brother countries. The only available legitimate forum is the Peer Review Mechanism of the African Union or confidential interactions among us or EAC and AU fora – not public comments."
“Regarding the election matters in that great country. It is not correct for Public officers, be they civilian or military, to comment or interfere in any way, in the internal affairs of brother countries.”
Gen Muhoozi’s tweets raised a diplomatic storm, especially at a time when President William Ruto was expected in Kampala for the annual Uganda Manufacturers Association show this week. Reports indicated that Ruto’s advance team said they could not guarantee his visit to Kampala.
Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon, saying the tweets should be disregarded. It added that Nairobi and Kampala do not work through social media.
On Wednesday, Museveni also sought to explain why Muhoozi was promoted to the rank of full general. He said that although Muhoozi made an error, he promoted him because he had made many positive contributions.
“There are… many other positive contributions the General has made and can still make. This is a time-tested formula – discourage the negative and encourage the positive.”
Gen Muhoozi has since been relieved of his duties as Commander of the Land Forces and was replaced by Lt-Gen Kayanja Muhanga, in a communication from the Army Spokesperson Brig-Gen Felix Kulayigye.