The 'First son' Lieutenant General Muhoozi Kainerugaba also senior presidential advisor for special operations has reignited the 'Muhoozi Project' talk, calling it a 'blessing.'
In today's post on his popular (nearly 150,000 followers) official Twitter account, @mkainerugaba, Muhoozi says the phrase, 'Muhoozi Project' was coined by 'evil people' to try and destroy 'us' but has since been turned from a 'curse' into a 'blessing.'
"Some evil people coined this phrase to try and destroy us! But trust my generation to convert every curse into a blessing! Thank you Ugandans!," he said.
In the post, he also attached a picture of himself dressed in a yellow hooded jumper with black writings 'Muhoozi Project'. It should be recalled that Gen David Sejusa, the former coordinator of intelligence services, whipped up a storm in April 2013 when he claimed that there was a plot to assassinate senior government officials and army officers opposed to a future Muhoozi presidency.
Sejusa said there was a deliberate ploy by President Yoweri Museveni to propel his son to replace him after leaving power by strategically recruiting him in the army and making him commander of the presidential guards in which he's accused of assembling a team of his own trusted comrades.
Sejusa would, later on, flee to the United Kingdom after being pursued by the government. Also, media houses that published Sejusa's dossier on the 'Muhoozi Project' including Red Pepper and Daily Monitor were temporarily closed by government for some weeks after being declared scenes of crime.
Muhoozi denied allegations that his rise and key placement in the military command is a ploy to sidestep the law and have him replace his father as president.
"Uganda is not a monarchy where leadership is passed on from father to son. This so-called [Muhoozi] project is a people's creation," he said in a statement in 2013.
Like The Observer reported in 2014, a youth group, Why Not Youth Pressure Group (WNPG) announced the launching of concerted efforts to sell brand Muhoozi to Ugandans. WNPG then said they hoped that early campaigns can turn Muhoozi into an electable presidential candidate in 2021.
Since then, there has been a sustained online campaign, facilitated by events promoter Balaam Baharugare of selling the Muhoozi brand. Several female models dressed in yellow and red t-shirts with inscriptions of 'General Kainerugaba Muhoozi is my role model... What about you?' have been taking pictures and posting them online. Several social media influencers have also taken to social media to 'market' Muhoozi.
It is not clear if Red Pepper director Arinaitwe Rugyendo and Independent magazine director Andrew Mwenda's visible social media influencing on selling the Muhoozi brand is just coincidental, or yet another deliberate effort to market Muhoozi the person.
Muhoozi has also lately been weighing in on current affairs in the country, sometimes even sending warning shots to the perceived enemies of Uganda.
"I can assure whoever even thinks of messing with Uganda will get a very bad day. Long live UPDF! Long live Ugandan Special Forces!" he tweeted on October 14, 2019, including attaching pictures of seven army commandos brandishing guns.
Branded car tyre covers with Muhoozi's pictures in military attire have also been distributed to vehicles around Kampala while the Lt Gen himself has taken over the role of posting throwback pictures of a younger self during military training or in meetings with foreign army officials. Previously, these pictures would be uploaded by social media influencers whose role has now been reduced to retweeting the first son's postings. In July last year,
In July last year, Joseph Kabuleta, a journalist-turned preacher was arrested after he authored several stinging criticisms against the government and the first family - particularly targeting Muhoozi, saying he was 'unsellable' and that Ugandans won't be duped into accepting him for leadership. He was arrested mafia-style from Lugogo as he prepared for his weekly Watchman Fellowship held at UMA Upper Gardens.
In a July 8, 2019, Facebook post, Kabuleta published a stinging long article titled; MAFIA EMPIRE AND THE TRANSITION. In the article, he stated how the "Muhoozi Project" is back on.
In his post, Kabuleeta said, "The big question for Ugandans is: How and when are they planning to make this transition? The First Son is already being sent on foreign missions on behalf of his father and is meeting ambassadors and dignitaries, and tweeting about it."
"Maybe the Godfather is planning to go into semi-retirement after rigging the 2021 elections and take on an advisory role as his son runs the Family Business called Uganda Limited. Or maybe, just maybe, the transition happens within NRM and the country adopts a Parliamentary System in which the party with the most elected legislators takes the presidency."