After some contemplation and observation, I have come to the conclusion that the MK Project (a hodgepodge ensemble that aspires to install so called First Son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, as successor to Yoweri Museveni) is a hoax and major diversion, orchestrated by the latter, with the former as an excited spoilt kid, buoyed by a brazen cast of unsophisticated fortune hunters, brazen wheeler dealers, ignorant sycophants, and callous felons.
My three brief reasons:
First, I hold the view that Museveni quietly but thoroughly despises Muhoozi for his lack of discipline, rigour, and intellectual depth. He doesn’t see him as a guarantor of the family’s bloodline and loot.
Why do I think so? In my conversations with elders and bush war veterans, they have invariably underscored Museveni’s sheer determination, willpower, thirst for knowledge (even for nefarious motives), and spartan discipline (including his disdain for alcohol and penchant for physical fitness), all of which were part of his formative youthful years. When Museveni was Kainerugaba’s age, he was already considerably published on Marxist philosophy, Pan Africanism, public policy, guerrilla warfare, and politics as a whole. It is a different question whether he has lived up to his writings, but the same cannot be said, even remotely, of his son who can neither compose nor deliver a simple speech at a wedding ceremony, his own birthday party, or a public rally, off-the-cuff. Instead, Kainerugaba relies on what appears to be hastily scribbled, incoherent notes on sticky notes or shabby pieces of paper.
Now in his eighties, the Old Man has evidently lost his shine and verve, but remains a polar opposite of his wayward son in terms of mental acuity and discipline. It doesn’t make sense to me that Museveni would take the gamble of entrusting his life’s work to a lazy, self-absorbed kid born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Second, Museveni’s pathological love for power, in its rawest and finest forms, makes it impossible for him to tolerate, much less support the notion of a successor. In his kingdom Uganda, there is no trinity or line of succession. He is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.
Take a look at the fates of all those who were once thought to be potential replacements (many of whom he even cunningly whispered the idea of succession to), from James Wapakhabulo, Noble Mayombo, Amama Mbabazi, Gilbert Bukenya (don’t laugh!), to Rebecca Kadaga. Don’t let the father-son relationship mislead you; in Machiavellian equations of power, being his biological son doesn’t mean much to a despot.
As with the rest of animal kingdom, so with humankind…lions, for example, are known to kill off young male offspring to guarantee their continued leadership of the pride. By the same logic, regardless of his state-of-mind, for as long as Museveni has the basic functions of body temperature, pulse rate, and respiration, it is not conceivable that he can entertain the idea of a replacement or successor, by whatever name called. It’s just not in him.
Third and finally, Gen. Museveni’s career as a civil servant (i.e., intelligence operative and minister), guerrilla, and head of the ruling junta (so called NRM) has been characterised by countless smokescreens. Museveni trivialises or remains silent about serious issues and overplays the things he doesn’t really care about.
(In)famous diversions include the ruse he sold regarding his commitment to cease fire and fully participate in the Nairobi Peace Talks (also known as the Nairobi Peace Jokes) yet his rebel forces were simultaneously advancing on (and later on captured) Kampala; his perennial mind games on the leadership of religions and kingdoms in Uganda; and the false alliance he made with MPs who zealously supported his bid for the removal of the presidential age limit, only for him to sacrifice them at the altar of the 2021 elections to appease an angry population.
In the words of my friend Betty Nambooze, “if Museveni asks you to wait for him on the road that leads to Masaka, do yourself a favour and instead wait for him on the road that leads to Jinja.” Founding father Milton Obote who was his boss at a time designated him “a pathological liar who only tells the truth by accident.” One commentator whose name eludes me once hilariously quipped that if you shake hands with Museveni, check to see that you still have all five fingers. Against such a backdrop, why would anyone believe that for something as crucial as transition or succession, Museveni would play his cards so openly as to show us his heir apparent?
Let me conclude this way:
The only real utility that the MK Project possesses for Museveni is twofold:
i. By deliberately hyping up a Kainerugaba presidency, Museveni forces the public to look favourably upon his continued rule because he is the Devil we know…and that Muhoozi would certainly be an unmitigated disaster. This reduces the spotlight on his forty-year-reign, as the “bewildered herd” gets distracted by the theatrics of the MK project.
ii. Assuming that a real crown prince exists, the MK Project helps the ruling family to conceal the identity of that person, while we chase after shadows.
In the end, the Ugandan public will be the ultimate loser in this long con. After all, Baalam Barugahara & Co., don’t care who takes power next or what happens to the country, as long as their stomachs are full.
For these reasons, I hold the considered view that the MK Project is the latest in a series of hoaxes, not worth the undivided attention of Ugandans.
Let’s focus on getting rid of Museveni and Musevenism—and the task of restoring our society to its past glory and dignity.
Opinion is writer’s own.