First son Lieutenant General Muhoozi Kainerugaba also senior presidential advisor for special operations Wednesday reignited the ‘Muhoozi Project’ talk, calling it a ‘blessing.’
On Thursday morning, presidential aspirant and former security minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde was asked to comment on the matter while appearing on NBS television.
Simon Kaggwa Njala: Do you know about the Muhoozi Project?
Tumukunde: I hear so many stories about the Muhoozi project, about him wanting to be president. There is nothing wrong with that but let him not use our resources. Let him act appropriately.
Tumukunde who used the platform to congratulate Amama Mbabazi for trying the presidential seat, had also lauded the deceased NRA bush war hero Gen Benon Biraaro for trying his luck.
Tumukunde was deployed in 2016 to foil Mbabazi’s plans including curtailing his operations as well as the Fort Portal incident where he landed a chopper at Mbabazi’s campaign rally.
Save for using state resources, Tumukunde doesn’t seem to have a problem with the first son being a president and succeeding his father Gen Museveni.
In a post on his popular (nearly 150,000 followers) official Twitter account, @mkainerugaba, Muhoozi says the phrase, ‘Muhoozi Project’ was coined by ‘evil people’ to try and destroy ‘us’ but has since been turned from a ‘curse’ into a ‘blessing.’
“Some evil people coined this phrase to try and destroy us! But trust my generation to convert every curse into a blessing! Thank you Ugandans!,” he said.
In the post, he also attached a picture of himself dressed in a yellow hooded jumper with black writings ‘Muhoozi Project’.
It should be recalled that Gen David Sejusa, the former coordinator of intelligence services, whipped up a storm in April 2013 when he claimed that there was a plot to assassinate senior government officials and army officers opposed to a future Muhoozi presidency.
Sejusa said there was a deliberate ploy by President Yoweri Museveni to propel his son to replace him after leaving power by strategically recruiting him in the army and making him commander of the presidential guards in which he’s accused of assembling a team of his own trusted comrades.
Sejusa would, later on, flee to the United Kingdom after being pursued by the government.
Also, media houses that published Sejusa’s dossier on the ‘Muhoozi Project’ including Red Pepper and Daily Monitor were temporarily closed by government for some weeks after being declared scenes of crime.
Muhoozi denied allegations that his rise and key placement in the military command is a ploy to sidestep the law and have him replace his father as president.
“Uganda is not a monarchy where leadership is passed on from father to son. This so-called [Muhoozi] project is a people’s creation,” he said in a statement in 2013.
Like The Observer reported in 2014, a youth group, Why Not Youth Pressure Group (WNPG) announced the launching of concerted efforts to sell brand Muhoozi to Ugandans.
WNPG then said they hoped that early campaigns can turn Muhoozi into an electable presidential candidate in 2021.
Since then, there has been a sustained online campaign, facilitated by events promoter Balaam Baharugare of selling the Muhoozi brand.
Several female models dressed in yellow and red t-shirts with inscriptions of ‘General Kainerugaba Muhoozi is my role model…What about you?’ have been taking pictures and posting them online. Several social media influencers have also taken to social media to ‘market’ Muhoozi.
While it is not clear if Red Pepper director Arinaitwe Rugyendo and Independent magazine director Andrew Mwenda are seen to be selling Muhoozi on social media, Joseph Kabuleta, a journalist-turned preacher, on the other hand, was arrested for saying the Muhoozi project had resumed.
Additional reporting by The Observer