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How Museveni is using Bobi’s popularity against Muhoozi

My esteemed senior and intellectual friend, Yoga Adhola, there’s always a hidden layer to President Museveni’s actions.

I have read with interest the analysis that seeks to uncover the deeper implications of President Museveni’s recent move—allowing the opposition to hold rallies across the country. This is a notable break from his 37-year political tradition, where such events would usually trigger a violent state response.

Professor Oweyegha Afunaduula, an esteemed ecologist, made a commendable attempt to understand this shift. I have always held that
the best political scientists are often biologists or ecologists, as they understand the innate behaviors of organisms. This perspective aligns with Professor Ogenga Latigo’s article that I shared yesterday, which argues that we can learn valuable lessons about succession from trees.

While Professor Afunaduula’s method—aiming to unearth the hidden meanings—is sound, I believe he missed an evident conclusion. We all know that your former boss at FRONASA and the current boss Senior Mutengesa is nothing short of a political grandmaster. Faced with declining global governance ratings, primarily due to a successful international campaign by the opposition—fueled by Robert Kyagulanyi’s resonance with the new-age movement—Museveni is contemplating a masterstroke for redemption.

Museveni excels in maintaining a sense of moral and strategic ambiguity on the global stage, which is why he operates a hybrid governmental system. Locally, the president’s restless son has been making his presence felt— roaming around with, to quote Liam Taylor, a “motley crew of wheeler dealers hanging on his coattails.”

Despite this, he has yet to articulate a serious alternative, while audaciously criticizing his father’s sole legacy, the NRM, in dismissive tweets. The president, ever the strategist, has not been idle. While maintaining a public show of affection for his son, he has subtly disarmed him—going as far as making him the best man at his recent 50th-anniversary celebration.

Last week, the seasoned political grandmaster made a brilliant move, using Bobi Wine as a pawn on both his global and local chessboards. By allowing Bobi Wine to proceed without interruption (albeit temporarily), the president is currying favor with the Western democracies. The images of Bobi Wine’s supporters attaching posters to the backs of police officers, who can do little but comply, are likely to enhance the president’s democratic credentials in the eyes of the West.

Domestically, Bobi Wine serves as an effective countermeasure against his son Muhoozi, who’s growing increasingly assertive. By drawing attention to the genuine enthusiasm and unruliness of Bobi Wine’s crowds, the president is sending a not-so-subtle message to his son to reconsider his own impetuous behavior, thereby casting doubt on the validity of his son’s previous gatherings.

Museveni has a knack for selecting his political rivals, and this latest move is a masterstroke aimed not only at unsettling his son but also at shaping the 2026 electoral landscape to be a contest primarily between himself and Bobi Wine. This effectively sidelines other potential contenders like Muntu, Besigye, Mao, and POA, as the narrative now largely focuses on the two chosen candidates.

In essence, the stage for the 2026 elections is being set, and Museveni and Bobi Wine have already surged ahead of the pack. From my bird’s-eye view, it’s clear that Museveni remains firmly in control. While there may be some discontent within the security agencies, no one is bold enough to challenge him directly—partly because they see such a move as counterproductive, given his perceived short remaining tenure.

However, that caution does not extend to his son Muhoozi, who is viewed as more susceptible to internal criticism.


While the speculation is intriguing, the stakes are high, and the outcome is inherently unpredictable. Never in our history have we seen such spontaneous, youth-driven crowds rallying behind a presidential candidate who wields no military power.

Questions loom: Does Muhoozi Kainerugaba lack the support of his aging father for presidential succession, drawing parallels to dictatorships in countries like Gabon? Or is this mere wishful thinking, stemming from the ruling class’s insecurity over their state-linked wealth?

While it’s tempting to forecast what the coming days may hold, speculation may not be productive. Ultimately, the key to resolving these issues lies in understanding the role of neocolonialism in the impoverishment and exploitation of both our physical and human resources. This period of unrest presents an opportunity for African think tanks to recalibrate their strategic planning for a new Africa.


0 #1 John 2023-09-15 18:19
I am eager to engage members on any exciting topics brought to the members
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