By Josepha Jabo
I was pleasantly surprised by the promotion of Col. Muhoozi Kainerugabato now Brigadier and becomes the Commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC).
Anyone who has closely followed Muhoozi’s promising military career can testify his elevation is timely and well-deserved. The fascination, for some, with Muhoozi, has been and will always be the fact that he is President Museveni’s child, the first son.
Therefore, it naturally follows that Muhoozi’s most recent promotion captured news headlines on our local television stations and on the following day the front page of Uganda’s two leading dailies. New Vision’s August 28, headline read,‘Muhoozi, Angina, Sabiti Promoted’ and Daily Monitor’s front-page on the same day read, ‘Museveni promotes Muhoozi to Brigadier.’ International media, like the ‘Washington Post’ also captured this story as the speculation continues whether or not President Museveni is grooming his son to become Uganda’s next president.
It has been said, by some, that Muhoozi’s rise up the military ladder has been accelerated by favoritism and, therefore, his military career has been fast-tracked. However, this allegation does not hold water, because just as Muhoozi will never be able to escape the reality that he is the first son, critics should not close their eyes to the fact that Muhoozi has earned his elevation.
Muhoozi’s promotion was not handed to him on a silver platter—he has worked for it. One’s opportunities for career-advancement should not be mistaken for favoritism. When these opportunities come a person’s way, that individual has a responsibility to rise to the occasion, make the most of it and prove his worth.
This is exactly what Muhoozi has done. Like any other solider in the UPDF, Muhoozi has done this time and time again. Muhoozi is not a recent recruit; he has been in Uganda’s army for the past 13 years.
Muhoozi, who joined the army in 1999 and has over the years, accrued great military experience worthy of a promotion. He has found good success in his military expeditions like Operation Lightning Thunder in the Garamba Forest in DR Congo where his Special Forces flushed out Kony forcing the rebel to flee to the Central Africa Republic.
His Specialised Units are currently battling the Al Shabaab criminals in Somalia and were very instrumental in flushing them out of the urban settings.
Unlike most privileged sons and daughters of prominent men, Muhoozi’s discipline, as a soldier is, impeccable. He is not a social misfit, which characterises most privileged youth. Those who have worked with him attest to the fact that he is a tenacious young officer who dedicates most of his time to this country's security.
A quick look at Brig. Muhoozi’s curriculum vitae shows a man well-qualified for the rank he acquired. He has a political science degree from Nottingham University, UK. What’s more, he is well-trained, for he has studied at internationally renowned military institutions like the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in the U.K. (1999-2000), Fort Leavenworth in the USA (2008-2009) and more recently, he completed a military course in National Security at the South African National Defence College (SANDC) in South Africa (2011-2012).
Muhoozi has also undergone military training in Israel (paratrooping) Nigeria and Egypt. One cannot question his credentials. Those who have worked with Muhoozi testify he is truly a patriotic Ugandan, extremely hardworking and very disciplined. Undeniably, Muhoozi is a young man of exemplary character.
The Writer is attached to Uganda Media Centre