Uganda’s Museveni Moves to Consolidate Grip Over a Tense Country

Uganda’s Museveni Moves to Consolidate Grip Over a Tense Country

A recent reshuffle of Uganda’s military command by longtime President Yoweri Museveni installed into the leadership a new generation of younger, more loyal officers effectively headed by Museveni’s son, Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba. The move is seen as aimed to strengthen Museveni’s grip on an army that has recently appeared to lack discipline due to growing displeasure within its senior ranks. But it also left the president as the sole remaining high-ranking member of the group that captured power a quarter-century ago. Museveni now rules, without any obvious challenger, a very tense country.

The mainstream opposition, including the Forum for Democratic Change, which made strong showings in Uganda’s last two elections, remains divided. Its incoherence, in terms of both strategy and ideology, and its woeful financial situation make it nearly impossible for the party to mount any serious challenge to Museveni. With vast amounts of money at his disposal during the most recent election, in 2011, Museveni secured yet another term. The next presidential election is scheduled for 2016, at which point he will have been in office for 30 years.

While the army reshuffle had long been expected, it was hastened by allegations made in early May by Gen. David Sejusa, then the country’s coordinator of intelligence services, that senior government officials opposed to Museveni's alleged plan to have his son succeed him in power risked being assassinated. Sejusa has since left the country and taken up residence in the U.K.

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