Sunday, October 9, 2022

A series of salacious tweets this week from Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba had passed off among Uganda’s social media audience as his usual banter, because he had confessed seeking to raise his traction on social media to one million followers, until Kenyans including some in their government felt sufficiently provoked.

Boasting about his ‘army’ by which he means social admirers and followers, Muhoozi had tweeted joyfully that “It would take us, me my army 2 weeks to capture Nairobi. After our army captures Nairobi, Where should I live? Westland? Riverside?” before adding, “After capturing Nairobi, I shall take my wife on a tour of our district.” Muhoozi also joked about Uhuru Kenyatta not seeking a third term which some Kenyans thought was probably meddling.

An earlier tweet about him gifting an Italian lady 100 Ankole cows for her apparent beauty had been called out as  sexist and un-courteous from the commander of the UPDF Land Forces. Muhoozi then mused himself “I think I have to start with Rome. But how do I get 100 cows through Customs?,” which was prank. These tweets reminded me of former US President Donald John Trump, who boasted that he was one of the smartest people in the world, once posting “Sorry losers and haters, my I.Q. is one of the highest and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure, it's not your fault.”

His critics feared that Trump would probably start a war on twitter when he threatened Iran and North Korea. On 23, July 2018, Trump tweeted to Iranian President Rouhani in uppercase, “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!.” Many remember Trump’s tweet on “little Rocket man on suicide mission,” yet, even with this jolly bombast, Trump, unlike Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barrack Obama, never started new wars. Instead, he met Kim Jong-Un. 

Earlier on 22 March 2018, Trump had tweeted about a fight with Joe Biden. “Crazy Joe Biden is trying to act like a tough guy. Actually, he is weak, both mentally and physically, and yet he threatens me, for the second time, with physical assault. He doesn’t know me, but he would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!.”

Trump’s tweets were not limited to politics and international relations because on 24 November 2017 he bragged how Time Magazine approached him to be nominated “Person of the Year,” which he said he turned down. In that tweet Trump said “Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year,” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot. I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!”

Then in August, towards the 2020 elections Trump sent out a sarcastic tweet to former first lady Michelle Obama. “Somebody please explain to @MichelleObama that Donald J. Trump would not be here, in the beautiful White House, if it weren’t for the job done by your husband, Barak Obama. Biden was merely an afterthought, a good reason for that very late & unenthusiastic endorsement.....”

Back in 2012, probably even before contemplating running for president, Trump had crowned himself king of Twitter saying “Thanks- many are saying I'm the best 140 character writer in the world. It's easy when it's fun.”

For a while now, Gen. Muhoozi has been turning heads with his tweets, seen by critics as unhinged like those of Donald J Trump, tackling perceived domestic adversaries, and occasionally veering into foreign affairs. Months back during his birthday celebration caravan, he enlisted free advise from Rwanda President Paul Kagame who, tongue-in-cheek offered to ‘edit’ his tweets.

At the time, Muhoozi had tweeted about the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia which some people construed to be in support of the Tigrian rebels, which he said cannot be defeated. Previously Muhoozi had also tweeted about the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in which admired Russia, and took flaks for going against diplomatic and military rules governing serving officers. 

Now following these events, Muhoozi has been promoted to 4 Star General and replaced as CLF, but nevertheless tweeted afterwards “After I hand over to Lt. General Kayanja, I’m going to take tour of this world. I’ll try visiting places I’ve never visited. Any suggestions?” 

He then signed off “We’re going to have a celebration down Kampala road for this rank. I thank my father for this honor. Now that we are a full General, let’s show them what we can achieve. Let the no sayers watch the space, as simple as that.” Well, like many of his ‘army’ say on social media we wait to see if their dawn is upon Uganda, but we expect them to be modest in their ambition, and after all, Trump’s tweets provoked no wars.