KAMPALA (AFP) – The son of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said he has no current plan to succeed his father, refuting weeks of opposition accusations he was preparing to take over power.
"Uganda is not a monarchy where leadership is passed on from father to son," said Muhoozi Kainerugaba, 39, son of the president and commander of a special forces unit, in a statement late Sunday.
Last month police shut the two main independent newspapers and two radio stations for 10 days after they reported arguments among army generals over whether the president's son was to succeed him.
"The power to choose how Uganda is governed lies with Ugandans and not a single individual as some people would want us to believe," said Kainerugaba's statement, released by the army's special forces spokesman Edson Kwesiga.
Newspapers in early May printed a leaked confidential memo by a senior general, David Sejusa, alleging that Museveni -- in power since 1986 -- was grooming Kainerugaba to succeed him.
Sejusa, also known as Tinyefuza, who has since fled to Britain, said there were plots to assassinate those opposed to the plan, but that claim was criticised by other generals.
Kainerugaba, a brigadier who now commands Uganda's special forces, has recently enjoyed rapid promotion through the ranks, although Museveni has made no mention of plans for him to succeed him.
Kwesiga said the president's son "issued the statement to clarify claims by a section of the opposition that there are plans to make him take over... he has not declared his ambitions."
Uganda is due to hold presidential elections in 2016 but it is not clear if Museveni -- an army general himself who rose to power as guerrilla commander -- plans to run again.