On Tuesday this week, President Museveni appointed Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi the new minister of state for internal affairs.
By the virtue of that appointment, Gen Muhoozi now holds three offices; CDF, army representative in parliament, and Minister of State for internal affairs.
While there may not be an issue with it legally, it would not be in Museveni’s interests to make the Army Commander busier with politicking in some ministry while the same person oversees the smooth running of the Forces.
As such, this, therefore, means that Museveni has a plan at least to have Gen Muhoozi replaced in the office.
With Gen Muhoozi’s replacement imminent, therefore, a debate on who becomes the next CDF has taken everyone back to former Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura.
While campaigning in Kisoro, President Museveni was ‘coerced’ by elders in the area to pronounce his pardon for the former IGP, and he stated that he would have the issues around Kayihura resolved as soon as possible.
Museveni fired Kayihura in March 2018 and the formerly powerful IGP has not held any office since then.
Speaking at a function recently, the once-powerful Kayihura said he had lost many friends and instead now turned to God for trust.
The question of Kayihura surfacing recently is not a hard one to answer, he must be eyeing something.
Initially, the General had been tipped to take over a position in cabinet as Minister for Internal Affairs, but a last-minute switch ensured Kahinda Otafire heads there, and this partly explains the vacancy in Justice and Constitution Affairs.
Does this mean that Museveni saw another placement for Kayihura, deciding to send a junior Gen David Muhoozi to Internal Affairs and instead install Kayihura as CDF?
Nile Post has contacted a source close to Kayihura who intimated to us that the General had expected to be part of the cabinet, but “we will wait and see what the President makes him”.
It is not a secret that Museveni really missed Kayihura’s management in security during the previous two years, that even after he appointed Sabiiti Muzeeyi in police, there was little he achieved, prompting Museveni to sack him shortly.
To level up Kayihura’s management, Museveni now sought a battle-hardened Paul Loketch, together with Brig Kayanja Muhanga who successfully oversaw the elections.
However, it is time now to look for management in the army, and while it is possible that Loketch can now switch back to be CDF, it is quite too soon, but Museveni is unpredictable.
Therefore, besides Loketch, here is a list of the candidates for CDF.
Lt Gen Elwelu
The position of the CDF has over history passed on to the one manning land forces at the time. This definitely brings Lt Gen Elwelu to the shortlist.
With the way he has been rising ever since the Kasese debacle, no one knows how far his reward is supposed to go, but he finds himself in the right position to take over from Gen Muhoozi, especially since even his loyalty is the least questionable.
Elwelu already finds himself in parliament as an army representative, which also further resolves the question of “should the CDF be part of parliament?”
However, the biggest questions to Museveni could be, making Elwelu CDF and then he has the Northern region in charge of the Police (Ochola & Loketch), Army (Elwelu), Parliament (Oulanyah), and Judiciary (Owiny-Dollo)?
Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu
The Position of the CDF has recently moved in a specific pattern, generally dominated by the Western region but once in a while disrupted by Buganda, and Rwenzori region, and only once bringing someone from the Eastern Region- Jeje Odongo (Amuria District).
It had been 22 years without a Muganda (Ahmed Ssegu as a CDF until Gen Katumba Wamala took over from Aronda Nyakairima. and the pattern was similar to the one we have as of today.
Nyakairima was sent to Internal Affairs and Katumba came through to take over.
Hence it could be yet such an opportunity for a Muganda to be at the helm of the army, given circumstances that Buganda was completely overlooked in the previous cabinet appointments having lost the Vice President position.
This is where Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu comes in. He serves as UPDF’s joint chief of staff, which is the third-highest rank in the army and is as popular as Gen Katumba was at the time.
Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba
At the climax of elections, President Museveni appointed his chief advisor on special operations and First Son Lt. Gen Muhoozi Kaineruga the commander of the Special Forces Command, an elite force that protects the President.
Muhoozi, however, finds himself in the best army generation and could as well be one of the best candidates to fill in the boots of his namesake.
It would therefore not be a surprise to wake up only to find he is the new army chief.
Lt General Wilson Mbadi
Lt Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi was in 2007 the ADC of President Museveni and is currently the Deputy CDF.
Mbadi finds himself at an advantage because it is time for President Museveni to pay the people of Kasese back for voting for him.
Museveni in his cabinet did not give the people of Kasese anything worth celebrating, knowing how much he loves playing the politics of paying back to those who do well, this could be the time to have another one from Kasese head the army, after James Kazini (2001-2003).
Lt Gen Mbadi is popular back home and could be the best card Museveni can play in Kasese following years of trying to bring the region back to his side.
In this term, president Museveni is in “love’ with women. Uganda now has the first female prime minister in Robinah Nabanjja, and could as well have the first female CDF.
Well, he could have a good number to pick from including Presidential Police Guard commander Col Charity Bainababo, and former doctor Col Victor Nekesa.
While thinking about this option, however, it should be known that the highest-ranking female officer is Lt Gen Proscovia Nalweyiso.