President Yoweri Museveni is a master at diversionary politics and mind games.
And, as they opine, like father like son, the First Son, Gen. Kainerugaba Muhoozi’s DNA, it seems, shares the attributes of his father – the president.
At a time when the country is besieged by a myriad of crises such as the high cost of living brought on by runaway inflation, the untold poverty in Busoga region and the swelling national debt yet amidst the recklessly increasing government borrowing, the president and his son, Gen. Muhoozi are busier engaging in misleadingly premature electioneering about who of the two should run for the President in 2026.
Such kind of campaign is diversionary and misleading because it has been only a year since the president won another term at the helm of the country.
For that reason, the president should be currently busier as he goes about trying to implement his campaign pledges as opposed to engaging in premature electioneering.
Additionally and despite the fact that he isn’t retired from the military yet, Gen. Muhoozi continues to press on with the illegal bid about succeeding his father as the president.
At the same time as Muhoozi presses on with his bid, the President is too busy secretly talking to, organizing and mobilizing groups of people to declare him the sole candidate for the ruling NRM for the 2026 elections.
Had it been someone else other than Muhoozi doing what Muhoozi is doing, the President would already have called him or her out for purportedly engaging in early electioneering.
Jinja road based, Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi, the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, would have since also swiftly danced along to the president’s wishes by directing the police to block Muhoozi from engaging in an irregularly early campaigns.
This is exactly what transpired during the time John Patrick Amama Mbabazi (JPAM) stepped out previously to compete for power with the President.
Mbabazi would thereafter go into premature campaigns. He was calling his premature campaigns as consultations intended to make him aware if his was a suitable bid.
Yet Mbabazi was deceitfully selling that ruse to merely and deliberately disguise the premature campaigns from what they were really were.
In any case, why was Mbabazi telling lies, considering he himself had already found his bid suitable, seeing that nothing was stopping him from doing so because he possesses all the requisite credentials?
No sooner had Mbabazi kicked off the so-called consultative meetings, than he attracted the full wrath of police following grumbling from the president about what Mbabazi was plotting. The chairman of the Electoral Commission at the time, Eng. Badru Kiggundu, also swung into action by issuing orders stopping JPAM from launching campaigns.
The head of Uganda Police at the time. Gen. Kale Kayihura, wasted no time to stop JPAM’s campaigns that he had started in Busoga region.
Had it been any other serving military officer, going forward, to campaign for the office of the President as Muhoozi is doing, that one person would have been violently arrested long ago to face the much-dreaded court martial and, for rightly so, engaging in partisan divisive politics.
But as George Orwell aptly puts it in his enduring Animal Farm novel, no one can dare touch Muhoozi since ,although, all animals are equal, some animals are more equal than others.
But, most importantly, and owing to the fact that what is at play is a ruse intended to divert wanainchi from the crucial debate in regard to more pressing crises bedeviling the country currently, the President cannot stop Muhoozi from marketing his hot-air candidature at the same time he is also using groups of people to market his.
The father can’t stop the son from promoting his hot-air bid since what is going on is a joint and deliberate project of the two whose intention is to misleadingly make it appear as if there is indeed a contestation between them whereas not.
Put another way, supposing the President isn’t going to contest again in 2026, which is highly doubtful, the assessment we are making can still apply.
By the father promoting his bid at the same time as the son, such a trick helps to divert the country from asking hard questions about the pressing problems as the people would be now spending all the time and energy gossiping about the two intriguing candidates for the reason that the two belong the same First family.
The same confusion apart from distracting the otherwise much more important conversation we have been talking about, also helps to keep the opposition endlessly guessing and confused about who of the two – the President and his son is going to stand for president ultimately.
As they are thus tactically, deliberately and endlessly being kept occupied by such guesswork plus confusion as stated above, the opposition is going to end up wasting a lot of time and energy plus resources discussing those ruses instead of quickly going ahead to prepare for whoever will be ultimately standing as the ruling party’s candidate in 2026.
One of Uganda’s opposition kingpins, Dr. Warren Kizza Besigye is of the firm view that what is critical currently and which matters now, is not if President Museveni or any member of his family is going to stand for power or not in 2026, but for the masses to demand for what the president has been pledging all the way from his bush war days and for many years after attaining power.
Should the president fail to deliver once again, Besigye demands, the voters shouldn’t allow themselves to be duped during the 2026 election to continue voting for the president or his preferred candidate, but should prepare adequately to finally overwhelmingly vote the regime out of power.
All in all, whether it is the president going to stand in 2026 or the son, what is important now is that by each promoting his bid at the same time, it has the potential– whether intended or not– of diverting the country from the most important conversation about the state of the economy, politics, human rights and such things currently since the next election is still four years away.
That is what we have referred to as mind games and the mastery of the politics of diversion is none other than the son of Kaguta.