October 1, 2013 (KAMPALA) - Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has told Al- Jazeera TV in an interview in New York that he is not grooming his son to succeed him as president.
- Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni and his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba (Monitor)
In an interview that was aired over the weekend, the veteran Ugandan leader spoke to the Qatari-based TV network on a wide-ranging number of issues from the threats posed by Al-Shabaab, democracy in Uganda and persistent speculation in the country that he is grooming his son, Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to succeed him as president.
Kainerugaba, Museveni’s eldest child, is commander of the elite Special Forces tasked with protecting his father and Uganda’s strategic assets such as its oil fields.
His rapid rise in the military ranks over the last decade has raised eyebrows, with Museveni critics saying the Ugandan president is positioning his son to succeed him.
Museveni has ruled Uganda for the last 27 years and has shown indications that he will contest again in 2016. Should he win and complete another five-year term, Museveni would be placed firmly among Africa’s longest rulers.
Museveni has called for the deployment of more forces in Somalia to fight the militant Al-Shabaab group, but said Somali must take the lead.
“We have cleared the towns. We need more troops to clear the country side… First of all we should have Somali troops themselves”, he said.
Uganda was the first country to deploy troops in Somalia under the auspices of the African Union (AU).
The Ugandan president, who is fond of the military, also said that Al-Shabaab is a weak force.
“The enemy is very weak. Why do I say they are very weak? The fact that they have been given free territory for the last 20 years, if they were a really potent force, they would have become very big by now, but they haven’t", Museveni said.
They just survive by default. They are not a strong force, he added.