Uganda's 'first son' vows to send troops to defend Moscow

AFP , Thursday 30 Mar 2023

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's mercurial son declared on Thursday that his country would send troops to defend Moscow if it came under threat.

Muhoozi Kainerugaba
File Photo: Then Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, right, son of Uganda s President Yoweri Museveni, speaks to Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka, left, at a thanksgiving ceremony in Entebbe, Uganda on May 7, 2022. AP


"Call me a 'Putinist' if you will, but we, Uganda shall send soldiers to defend Moscow if it's ever threatened by the Imperialists!" Muhoozi Kainerugaba said on Twitter.

"The West is wasting its time with its useless pro-Ukraine propaganda," added the outspoken general, a fervent supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kainerugaba, who is notorious for his often erratic Twitter outbursts on all manner of issues, earlier this month announced that he plans to run for president in the 2026 elections.

He also announced Thursday the creation of a television and radio station under his MK brand, headed by a former special forces spokesman, and said one of the first places it would visit would be Russia.

As a serving military officer, Kainerugaba is banned under Uganda's constitution from making unauthorized statements about sovereign states or foreign policy.

Uganda has abstained during UN votes on the conflict, including one last month marking the one-anniversary of the war that called for Moscow to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its troops.

Museveni has also in the past defended his country's ties with the Kremlin.

"How can we be against somebody who has never harmed us," he said during a tour of Africa by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in July last year to drum up support for Moscow over the war.

Russia has traditionally strong ties with Africa after lending support to independence movements on the continent that fought to oust colonial rulers.

Observers have long believed that Kainerugaba was being groomed to succeed his 78-year-old father, who has ruled Uganda since 1986.

Some of his Twitter tirades have however caused foreign policy problems for Uganda.

Following a row last year over a tweet threatening to invade Kenya, Museveni had sought to rein in his wayward son by telling him to stay off Twitter when it comes to affairs of state.

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