President Museveni has for the first time openly commented about the several birthday parties organized by the Commander of the Land Forces in the UPDF also First Son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
In the past one month, several birthday parties have been organized to celebrate Muhoozi’s 48th birthday in a gesture many, especially those who follow matters in the country have said is a declaration of his presidential bid.
However, in an exclusive interview with TRT World, an international media house at Nakasero State Lodge, Museveni said that his son was only celebrating his birthday and that people of good will decided to make it worthwhile through different parties.
“It was only a birthday, there was good will and people came up which was good but it was only a birthday,” Museveni said.
Since the multiple birthday parties and celebrations begun, many have blamed President Museveni for failure to reign in on Muhoozi, with many saying that this gesture openly shows that he has approved and is in support of his son’s presidential ambition.
Others said Museveni was “strategically” positioning Muhoozi to take over from him in what has been described as hereditary rule.
However, Museveni dismissed the claims saying they are not true.
“Uganda belongs to Ugandans, it does not belong to me or my family. It is for the Ugandans to decide.”
This is not the first time the president is dismissing such reports for grooming his son to take over power in Uganda.
Earlier in the year Museveni insisted that if his son wanted to be president just like any one, they would have to seek the mandate of the people.
During the interview, Museveni said that his legacy is intact and that what he has achieved is known by anyone, adding that for what he has not achieved, there is no one to blame for that.
“I do not have any regrets,” he said.
The Commander Land Forces has since last month taken part in birthday celebrations dubbed MK@48 in several parts of the country where several of his close friends have attended.
The celebrations also saw a dinner hosted at State House in Entebbe attended by among other, President Museveni, First Lady Janet Museveni and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame among other dignitaries.
The parties have since drawn mixed reactions from members of the public, with many, especially those who follow proceedings in Uganda saying the birthday celebrations were a clear statement about Lt Gen Muhoozi’s presidential ambitions.
These believe those who attended or were invited for the birthday celebrations will play a key role in preparing ground for the First Son’s presidential bid.
Speaking during one of the parties, Muhoozi said the parties which have left many with tongues wagging were meant to celebrate what the country has gone through the last three years including the Covid pandemic and the frost relations between Uganda and Rwanda.
“As a country, we were experiencing bad relations with our brotherly neighbours, Rwanda. People were suffering because they were not doing business and they could not visit families and friends across the border. This was a big problem,”Muhoozi said.
“What this whole MK 48 movement is probably teaching Ugandans is that there is a very strong and vibrant youth movement in this country. I think it is the strongest force in Uganda right now.”