By Kungu Al-mahadi Adam
All I deduced from the meeting between Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the UPDF Commander Land Forces and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, is a transition taking place. In fact, it was more to do with the internal politics of Uganda.
My instincts tell me that Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame already made headways in resolving the existing differences and whatever is happening now is for formality and other political reasons attached.
Whereas I don’t doubt Gen Muhoozi’s military abilities, I am inclined to believe that he is the most suitable to broker diplomatic negotiations of this nature. The General has no known history of influencing diplomatic decisions.
Uganda has better renowned and experienced diplomats, historicals, ministers, military personnel, who would do us a better job if at all it was still work in progress.
There is more than what meets the eye in yesterday’s meeting. The lines have fully been drawn – there is no doubt, the much sought-for transition is steadily taking shape in the politics of this country.
Whereas President Yoweri Museveni has never publicly commented in support of the much hyped ‘Muhoozi project’, there are all reasons to believe that he is working to its realization from the background.
For Muhoozi to meet President Kagame especially at such a time, is strategic. First, if relations are finally amended, it pits him as a peacemaker, an initiator of regional cooperation something that works to his credit. That he managed to reunite the two brotherly countries after failure of regional leaders. That is not a small statement.
Secondly, it elevates the General to a level of Presidents. Ordinarily, such a meeting should have been between Museveni and Kagame but in his capacity as President Yoweri Museveni’s Senior Advisor in Charge of Special Operations, he represented his boss and father. We are likely to see him represent the President more at international engagements.
In what looked like two regional leaders, Muhoozi and Kagame posed for photos that are now viral online. You can clearly see either a semblance of equals having a chat, or an uncle welcoming the son to a new world of governance and leadership.
The General is rumored to be executing all regional missions with the guidance of former Prime Minister and renowned strategist Amama Mbabazi. His role in UPDF’s fight against ADF in DRC is undoubted. This is coupled with his role in peace enforcement in Sudan a couple of years back.
Being an urdent and regular user of Twitter, Gen Muhoozi is such a predictable being. Days to meeting President Kagame, he showered him with lots of praise on twitter. To some of us, this was a communication that something was in the offing and indeed a meeting later happened.
Prior to that, he in a number of tweets did the same to Kenya’s leaders Uhuru Kenyatta. We are yet to publicly see what happens with him.
All these are indicators that there are deliberate efforts first of all, to create a personal working relationship between Gen Muhoozi and other regional leaders, but also to, through actions, enable the naysayers in Uganda to read the times, to understand that the much needed transition from the ‘old to the young’ is taking place.
The Writer is a Ugandan Journalist with passion for current African affairs.