Talk that Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba and his family are interested in seeing him replace his father as President someday, has been around for a decade or more. No wonder, the discussion is no longer a preserve for the elites weighing in on the merits and demerits of the First Son succeeding Mr Yoweri Museveni when he leaves the stage someday.
My weekends are often reserved for farm work. The most interesting part of this weekend assignment though is interacting with the rural folks.
That is where I meet a man called Kyeswa. Kyeswa, might be in his late 30s, but years of drinking alcohol have battered his body that he looks like a man in his 50s.
Certainly, he is weaker than a man in his 80s.
However, his mouth has never lost its talking prowess. He sometimes speaks sense and nonsense – and it takes patience some days to listen to him.
Kyeswa’s parting shot is familiar – he always asks for change, to help him ‘charge his batteries’ after he has told me all the news and talk in the village.
This time round, Kyeswa was bubbling politics. And before long he came to the subject of the person of the first son who he calls ‘Mutabani wo Mugagga’.
Kyeswa, however, shocked me with the advice that he wants to give Muhoozi, if he ever wanted power in Uganda. And he wanted to pass it on personally.
Since this is the most sensible thing I have heard coming from Kyeswa’s head, I decided to pen it down.
Kyeswa, told me that it is not uncommon for any father to wish their children to do well in life. “That’s every father’s wish.” He told me.
“If you don’t wish your child to be like you, at least, you want them to do better than you,” Kyeswa said, calling himself out, “Of course I don’t want my son to be like me, a drunkard, no no no! Never mind!”
Kyeswa added, “Those who criticize Museveni for wishing his son the presidency are mad! Who wouldn’t wish their son the most converted position?”
I was all ears at this point. He looked at me. And whispered in my ear, “How do I meet Muhoozi?”
I told him I don’t know.
“You people live in Kampala. You should be meeting him on the streets, Independence Day, Christmas etc,” he told me.
I told him, I have never bumped into Muhoozi, honestly, and I was telling the truth. Secondly, I told him that Muhoozi has never told anyone publicly that he wants to stand for president. The other thing is – he is not even a member of any political party that might get him the flag to stand for any elective position.
The dude didn’t want to hear any of my argument.
He shut me down and told me to listen. I did.
“People say, he drinks a little. I prefer him to his father because they say his father despises drunkards. That is why he chased Tamale MIrundi (former Presidential press secretary). Muhoozi will not despise us. But why doesn’t he come to our village and he buys us some drinks!”
I had to restrain Kyeswa to tell me what he wanted to say, before sunset which meant I had to leave the farm to return home.
“Well, he continued, “My friends believe Muhoozi cannot campaign and win now. He’s a reserved man. Yet stakes are high especially with many people who want the presidency and believe he is still young.
“Now there is this Bobi Wine who looks more popular than him. But Muhoozi is a prince. He grew up in the palace so he knows more about leading than Bobi Wine. He also has money and guns. Bobi Wine has to sing at Namboole 100 times to raise a half of the money Muhoozi has. All these are advantages favouring Omwana w’omugagga.
Since Kyeswa was speaking many uncoordinated things, I asked him to tell me what he wants Muhoozi to know, and when I find him on the streets of Kampala, I will help pass him his message.
“Well, I know you are tired and want to go,” he said.
I nodded in affirmative.
“I think, Muhoozi should ask his father to accept the MPs’ proposal to extend terms to seven years.”
I nodded in affirmative again, so that Kyeswa can finish his long speech and allow me to go.
“Since Museveni is still going to win 2021 elections, in his cabinet reshuffle he should introduce more positions.”
I still nodded.
“For example, he will have to introduce the First Vice President, Second Vice President and Third vice President.”
Okay, I said.
“He will also need to keep Prime Minister and his deputies.”
I agreed with him, and at this point, I could see a serious man talking.
“Since he has made peace with Amama Mbabazi, Gilbert Bukenya, Specioza Kazibwe, the president needs to appoint them to those positions.
“For example,” Kyeswa said, grabbing my hand, “Museveni should appoint Muhoozi First Vice President, and keep Amama away from the succession line.”
I remained silent. Kyeswa, repeated the sentence, as if he believed I hadn’t heard him. He elaborated.
“Museveni should appoint Muhoozi first vice president, Gilbert Bukenya second vice president and Specioza Wandira Kazibwe as third Vice President.”
I told him to go ahead, knowing that he will not finish if I interrupted.
“Museveni should re-appoint Amama Mbabazi Prime Minister and send Rugunda (Ruhakana) to Foreign Affairs since Sam Kutesa is retiring.”
At this point I had to ask what this would help Museveni, who at this time would be President swimming in the seven-year term?
Kyeswa, laughed. Coming closer to me, said, “Museveni should feign sickness a year into the term. This will help Muhoozi strategically.”
He continued, “It means the first vice president should be acting as President.
As Museveni watches over, Muhoozi should start acting as ‘president’, doing executive work, and moving around freely across the country to build his own clout while his father is still in charge, and reigning in on the ambitions of other players, such as Amama or retired senior army officials.
At this point I was laughing out loud. Praising Kyeswa as he would expect me to do. However, he stopped me.
“I have not finished. Listen, Muhoozi will have six years to build his kingdom inside his father’s reign and in 2028, he will have built himself into the statesman people identify with.”
Kyeswa at this point had talked too much. I was late. I exchanged my good night pleasantry and gave him some coins to buy another glass of waragi.
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org