KAMPALA — ‘Muhoozi Project’ self-announced chairman Julius Lyvine Kashugi has accused events promoter Balaam Barugahara of plotting to topple him from the chairmanship of “Friends of Gen Muhoozi”, a group working to whip up the presidential ambition of the President’s son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
Kashugi who claims to have built the project from scratch, accuses Balaam of ousting him and in the process unfairly blocking him from accessing Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who commands the infantry wing of Uganda’s military forces. Sources close to him Muhoozi acknowledge that he seeks to replace his father who has ruled Uganda long before the Berlin Wall fell.
In an interview with this website last week, Kashugi claimed that he has been using personal resources to fund the group—Friends of Gen. Muhoozi but Balaam have used connections within the state to hijack the project from leaders of ‘Friends of Gen Muhoozi.’
Commenting on the coup d’état allegations, Balaam hit back at Kashugi before dismissing as malicious accusations and telling off Kashugi to get serious.
“MK [Muhoozi Kainerugaba] has friends all over Uganda so, no one owns Friends of Gen MK [Group], ” Balaam said, adding that even Muhoozi’s long-time friends and OBs like Cedric Babu don’t claim exclusive friendship rights over him.
He added: “Afande MK is for everyone not for me or them. He is for Uganda and all his supporters are his friends. Ho body owns him exclusively”.
On allegations that he was blocking Kashugi from accessing Muhoozi, Balaam said: “I don’t control or run Afande’s appointments. He is a serving officer who has a military assistant and [aide-de-camp] ADC plus Personal Private Secretaries who runs his appointments”.
Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who commands Uganda’s infantry forces, has been increasingly assertive in Twitter posts in which he mentions his wish to rule Uganda.
He spoke of increasing the sports budget in favor of young people when he “ wins power in this country.” And he says he will announce his political program soon.
“The fact that all those who used to abuse me on a daily basis are now being forced to swallow their words by the people is great,” he said on May 2, referring to recent rallies where throngs of people wore T-shirts bearing his image.
Kainerugaba’s supporters say he offers Uganda the opportunity of a peaceful transfer of power in a country that has not had one since independence from British colonial rule in 1962. But opposition leaders, critics and others eager for change say his rise is leading the East African country toward hereditary rule.
Kainerugaba’s birthday celebrations should be seen as a formal introduction of “the crown prince and heir to the Ugandan throne,” critic Muniini K. Mulera wrote in a column in the local Daily Monitor newspaper. Museveni “has entered his last lap of a long walk towards the realization of a fifty-year-old dream to create dynastic rule,” he wrote.
Kainerugaba also faces legal scrutiny. Because Ugandan law prohibits a serving military officer from engaging in partisan affairs, some say Kainerugaba has already crossed the line.
They point out that other army officers who discussed politics were humiliated.
A Ugandan attorney last week filed a petition with the Constitutional Court seeking a declaration that Kainerugaba’s political activities are unlawful. That petition also seeks to have Kainerugaba prosecuted for alleged treason, charging that his activities are destabilizing.
Kainerugaba joined the army in the late 1990s, and his rise to the top of the armed forces has been controversial, with critics dubbing it the “Muhoozi Project” to prepare him for the presidency.
Museveni and Kainerugaba himself have denied the existence of such a scheme, but it appears a transition is now underway as Museveni, 77, serves what could be his last term without a recognizable successor within his government.
Museveni has not said when he would retire. He has no rivals within the ruling National Resistance Movement party — the reason many believe the military will have a say in choosing his successor.
Most of the heroes of the jungle war that ended years-long civil strife and launched Museveni’s presidency have since died or been retired from the army, putting authority in the hands of young military officers who see Kainerugaba as their leader.
Kainerugaba, the pillar of his father’s personal security apparatus, is now the de facto head of the military, with his allies strategically deployed in command positions across the security services, according to observers.
The Muhoozi loyalists recently launched an aggressive social media campaign for a 2026 presidential bid for Muhoozi hardly six months into President Museveni’s new term.