Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni apologized on Wednesday for a social media tirade by his outspoken son that included a threat to invade Kenya and remarks about the country’s recent elections.
The rant on Twitter earlier this week by Museveni’s 48-year-old son, General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, caused offence in Kenya, and angry calls for a formal explanation from Uganda.
Among other remarks, Kainerugaba suggested taking his troops to capture Nairobi and chided Kenya’s former leader Uhuru Kenyatta for not attempting an unconstitutional third bid at the presidency in recent elections.
Museveni rebuked his son for “meddling in the affairs” of Kenya and speaking publicly about political matters, something he is barred from doing as a high-ranking military official.
“I ask our Kenyan brothers and sisters to forgive us,” said Museveni, who has ruled Uganda uninterrupted since 1986, and has the support of party leaders to run again in the 2026 polls.
“It is not correct for public officers, be they civilian or military, to comment or interfere in any way, in the internal affairs of brother countries.”
Museveni said he had conveyed these remarks to William Ruto, who was sworn in as Kenya’s president last month.
He also offered an explanation as to why Kainerugaba was promoted to general on Tuesday, even as diplomats scrambled to contain the embarrassing repercussions of his remarks.
“There are, however, many other positive contributions the General has made and can still make. This is a time-tested formula – discourage the negative and encourage the positive,” he said.
The president also removed Kainerugaba as commander of Uganda’s land forces in a move analysts said was likely aimed at lowering his profile and power.
It is not the first time Kainerugaba’s comments on sensitive foreign policy matters have caused diplomatic headaches for Uganda.
His tweets in support of Tigrayan rebels in northern Ethiopia angered Addis Ababa, while his thoughts on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and last year’s coup in Guinea also raised eyebrows.
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