Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force (UPDF) Land Forces Commander, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has warned of consequences for those who have been abusing him, citing the case of a lawyer who dragged him to court for allegedly holding political events during his 48th birthday party celebrations.
Gawaya Tegulle, a practicing advocate of Uganda Courts of Judicature and Human Rights, Constitutionalism and Good Governance activist, filed a petition filed in the Constitutional Court in Kampala Friday, May 6, 2022, accusing Gen Muhoozi of holding political events when he is still a serving member of the army.
Tegulle also sued the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen Wilson Mbadi and Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka for failing to restrain and advise Muhoozi against making “political pronouncements and (holding) presidential campaigns on his Twitter handle” which he said is in contravention of Article 208 (2) of the constitution which provides that “the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces shall be non-partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional, disciplined, productive and subordinate to the civilian authority as established under this constitution and also in violation of Articles 2,3,209 and 210”.
“The 1st Respondent who also happens to be the son of the current President of the Republic of Uganda, Gen Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni, is enjoying unlawful and unconstitutional preferential treatment from the UPDF and is not being duly reprimanded, supervised or otherwise called to order by the 2nd Respondent simply because he is the son of the president which manifestly offends Article 21 that provides for equality before and under the law.”
Tegulle also faults Muhoozi for allegedly promoting the Chwezi dynasty through the succession of the incumbent president and his father as well as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
Muhoozi says his revolution is unstoppable
A few hours after the petition became public, Muhoozi tweeted saying, “I hear some small haters are disturbed that the third unstoppable lion has overtaken them.”
He shared a picture of himself, his father and President Museveni with Rwanda President Paul Kagame who he fondly calls Uncle.
“They will learn what the people of Uganda want!” he said.
Earlier, Muhoozi had made it clear on his Twitter handle that “the growth of the Ugandan young patriotic movement is simply unstoppable”.
“The voices of the young people will be heard in Uganda!”
After Tegulle dragged him to court, Muhoozi warned his critics that the highest judges are the people of Uganda who want a revolution.
“Those who made a career in abusing me, and were used to nobody in NRM standing up for me are now running to the courts because the people have overwhelmed them!” he said.
He added: “All the people of Uganda already know the Highest Judge of all is already with this people’s revolution!!!”
Tegulle accuses Muhoozi of treason
Through his lawyers M/s Thomas & Michael Advocates and M/s Nalukoola Advocates & Solicitors, Tegulle claims the petition is in the higher public interest, for the good of the Republic of Uganda and in defence of the constitutional order and promotion of rule of law and good governance.
He humbly prays that the court may be pleased to grant the following declarations and orders:
- a) the actions, activities, conduct and character of the 1st Respondent (Muhoozi) while serving as an army officer, contravene Articles 2,3,21,208(2), 208(3), 209 and 210 of the Constitution of the Republic Uganda;
- b) By violating the constitution as contended herein, the 1st Respondent committed the offence of treason and is liable to prosecution in accordance with the law as laid down.
- c) The inaction, inertia and omissions of the 2nd Respondent (Gen Mbadi) in as far as he has failed, refused or otherwise omitted to supervise, oversee, restrain or otherwise call the 1st Respondent to order, to cease and desist from mounting a political campaign while still serving in the army, is/are unconstitutional.
- D) The failure or refusal by the 3rd Respondent (AG Kiwanuka) to provide legal advice to the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces in general and the 1st Respondent in particular, to cease and desist from mounting a political campaign while still serving in the army is unconstitutional.
- i) The 1st Respondent cease and desist from carrying on his political activities while he is still serving in the army and that inaction doth issue to that effect.
- ii) The 1st Respondent be prosecuted for treason.
iii) The 2nd and 3rd Respondents discharge their constitutional mandate without fear or favour, and with effectiveness and efficiency to the last drop.
- iv) Any other reliefs that this Honourable Court may deem fit.
- v) Each party meet their own costs.
Tegulle signed his petition on Thursday, May 5, 2022. The petition is to be served to Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugba, the Chief of Defence Forces and Attorney General of Uganda.
Muhoozi promises to make Uganda better
Despite the criticism and the lawsuit, the Presidential Advisor on Special Operations promised to build a better Uganda than his ancestors.
“We will create a much better Uganda than the old folks! We must! Otherwise, we are not human beings!” Muhoozi tweeted hours after the lawsuit.
He added: “Our parents struggled for the best Uganda they could conceive of! And we are proud of them! We too must struggle for the best Uganda we can conceive of! May our children be proud!”
He warned that those who stood against the youth that support him or speak negatively about his revolution would face consequences.
“If anyone on earth ever speaks negatively, or opposes the youth of Uganda who love and support me again they will be dire consequences. No one in the universe has power over us!!” he tweeted on Saturday.
He didn’t outline the said consequences that await his critics.
Who is Gawaya Tegulle?
The petitioner Gawaya Tegulle is a Director at Conference on Democracy in Africa, according to his LinkedIn profile.
According to media reports, he was fired from the national broadcaster Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) Television in 2007.
Tegulle used to host a Wednesday show dubbed “Tonight with Tegulle” and was allegedly sacked for hosting then Opposition leader, Dr. Kizza Besigye.
Tegulle is an advocate of the High Court of Uganda and a columnist in the Daily Monitor newspaper.