Ugandan president's son denies he wants to succeed father

AFP , Thursday 26 May 2016

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni is pictured during his swearing in ceremony as newly elected President in Kampala on May 12, 2016 (Photo: AFP)

The son of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, has rejected claims that he plans to succeed his father, reports said Thursday.

Muhoozi Kainerugaba, speaking on Wednesday after he was promoted from Brigadier to Major General, heading the Special Forces Command (SFC), said he was "happy with being in the military", the government-owned New Vision newspaper reported.

He called claims by opposition supporters that Museveni is grooming him to take over as a "red herring" and that he was happy to remain in the army "for some time."

A former intelligence chief turned government critic David Sejusa fled into exile in Britain in 2013 after a confidential memo he wrote was leaked to the press, causing a political storm.

The memo claimed Museveni was preparing Muhoozi to succeed him and that those in the army opposed to the supposed succession plan risked being assassinated.

Muhoozi, aged 42 and who trained at Britain's military academy Sandhurst, dismissed the reports of a plan to push him into power as "non-existent", the Daily Monitor reported.

"I do not have the ambition to be president," Muhoozi said.

The Monitor however reports many have "long-simmering suspicions" he will take over the reins of power once Museveni steps down.

Museveni, 72, in power since 1986, was elected to a fifth term in February elections with 61 percent of the vote. He has rejected claims his victory was won through fraud.

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