The chief in Commander for Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), President Museveni has ordered Command of Landing Forces who is also the first son to stop both security and foreign policy comments on social media.
Museveni made the comment in a radio call message to security and intelligence service and top military commanders, including his son and Commander of Land Forces (CLF), Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, from commenting about security and foreign policy issues on social media platforms.
According to president Museveni, social media is not bad but the Commander of Land Forces, and other UPDF generals should use the platforms to discuss sports, political ideology, and education and youth issues.
His decision followed a meeting the Commander-in-Chief held with service chiefs in the south-western Ntungamo District early this week after Deputy Chief of Defence Forces (D/CDF), Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, placed Uganda’s military on Standby Class 1 which is the highest level of combat readiness and the order proscribes movement of troops and military equipment.
This level requires commanders to conduct regular daily roll calls to establish whereabouts of soldiers and what they are doing.
Lt Gen Elwelu did not provide the reason for the Wednesday emergency radio call message, which came into force after President Museveni crossed to a heroic welcome in Rwanda for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm).
Hours later, Lt Gen Muhoozi reportedly countermanded the high alert order for troops under his command, the Land Forces. In the military hierarchy, the CDF ranks number one, followed by the deputy while the CLF is third in command.
The disparate radio call message prompted President Museveni, who made the return trip to Kigali by road, to issue a separate order in which he, while referencing Lt Gen Elwelu’s message, summoned the top army leadership for a 12pm meeting in Ntungamo where he camped upon return.
The summoned were the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Wilson Mbadi, among others who had been in Kenya conferring with regional counterparts on details of an East Africa Force to pacify eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), D/CDF Elwelu, CLF Muhoozi, service chiefs and other commanders deemed relevant to issues for discussions.
Sources said that the President during the meeting delved into how reckless behaviour had claimed lives of illustrious commanders of UPDF and its predecessor outfit, the National Resistance Army (NRA) and then warned the commanders to desist from promiscuity and drunkenness.
In accounts of the deliberations, corroborated in the commander-in-chief’s Sunday radio call message to service chiefs, Gen Museveni noted that he had agreed with “my people”, a reference to top military leadership, social media is not bad in itself, but the issue is how it is used.
He asked the CLF and other commanders to desist from discussing or commenting on international relations issues on social media, telling them instead to use the platforms to discuss sports, youth issues, political ideology and education.
It remained unclear which specific social media commentaries were deemed problematic.
The 1st son who also doubles as the Commander of Landing Forces Lt Gen Muhoozi, who has slightly more than 568,000 followers on Twitter, is the most vocal and prolific UPDF officer engaged on the micro-blogging site.