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Museveni’s son, Gen Muhoozi, boasts of succeeding his father as Ugandan president

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Controversial son of Uganda’s veteran President, Yoweri Museveni, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, has boasted that he will soon succeed his 78-year-old father to become the country’s leader.

The 48-year-old Muhoozi on Thursday, publicly declared his ambition to become president of the East African country, putting an end to widespread speculations that Museveni had been secretly grooming his son to succeed him.

“The only way I can repay my great mother is by being President of Uganda! And I shall definitely do it!!” the General wrote on Twitter after years of denying that he was eyeing the country’s number one position.

Many political observers in the country had long held the belief that the country’s longest serving president would one day hand over power to his son who recently got his fingers burned when he became embroiled in a diplomatic row with Kenya over a tweet where he threatened to invade Nairobi.

Many also believed the rapid promotions Muhoozi was getting from his father was another way of fast tracking him to the top and having the way for his eventual emergence as president.

After the social media spat, Museveni had moved to rein in his son’s excesses by announcing that he would be banned from using the social media platform.

“He’s going to leave Twitter. We have had this discussion. Twitter is not a problem. The problem is what you tweet,” he had announced on a local Ugandan TV station.

“Talking about other countries and Uganda’s politics is something he should not do and will not do,” Museveni added.

But the defiant Muhoozi replied his father immediately with another stating that he is an adult and cannot be banned from using Twitter.

“I am an adult and NO ONE will ban me from anything!” He tweeted.

Politics

Tunisian union, UGTT chief, Noureddine Taboubi accuses President Saied of intimidation

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As part of the fallouts of the recently conducted parliamentary elections in Tunisia, its trade union, UGTT accused President Kais Saied of targeting it as a distraction from record-low election turnout.

The powerful union also accused president Saied of overseeing a “total failure” of economic policies.

The UGTT chief, Noureddine Taboubi at a meeting held at Gammarth to discuss the arrest of the union’s senior official Anis Kaabi earlier in the week said “the president is trying to divert attention from the record low election turnout in the first and second round of legislative elections and the utter failure of his economic and social decisions.”

Mr. Taboubi added: “Why is the UGTT a target?  Because [the authorities] want to pass the painful reforms they are always discussing.

“In order to pass these painful reforms, they need to distract the public with trivia by saying that the reason for this situation is the UGTT.”

The election, which was a second round of the Tunisian parliamentary polls held last Sunday with reports that nearly 90% of the electorate did not vote, making it the highest level of abstention since the 2011 revolution that toppled dictator Ben Ali and marked the advent of democracy in the country.

Voter turnout for the first round of the parliamentary elections in December was only 11%, prompting widespread ridicule among Saied’s opponents and new demands by the powerful labour union that he changes tack.

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Politics

Burkina Faso’s PM, Kyélem de Tambèla, moots ‘federation’ idea with neighbouring Mali

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There are indications that neighbouring West African countries, Mali and Burkina Faso might be forming a “federation” to boost their economic clout.

The indication was given by Burkina Faso’s prime minister, Apollinaire Kyelem de Tambela who is currently on a visit to neighbouring Mali this week.

According to an official account of the visit published by his office on Thursday, Prime Minister Tambela said, “we could create a flexible federation that would be mutually reinforcing and respect the aspirations of both sides.”

“Mali is a major producer of cotton, cattle, and gold. Burkina Faso also produces cotton, cattle, and gold,” Kyelem de Tambela said during the trip on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“So long as we each take separate paths, we don’t have much clout. But if you put Mali’s and Burkina Faso’s production of cotton, gold, and cattle together, it becomes a powerhouse.”

There has been the idea to forge a federation in francophone West Africa, consisting of Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Benin shortly before they gained independence from France in 1960.

“Our forebears tried to create groupings, like the Mali Federation, which sadly did not last. But they showed us the way,” he said.

“One of my reasons for going to Mali is that for a long time, we’ve been looking elsewhere for solutions when they’re often right under our noses,” he continued.

The West African neighbours are battling a brutal jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives, driven more than two million from their homes, and prompted military takeovers of the elected government.

Each has witnessed two military coups since 2020 and is under pressure from the international community to return to democratic civilian rule. The two have also tilted towards embracing relations with global south-in Russia and China as they have both engaged Russian mercenaries- the Wagner group in containing terrorism as well as seeing relations with France.

A federation consists of a group of countries or regions that have joined together to form a large organization or government. Under the federal arrangement, no region is politically stronger enough to dominate the other but each can influence the other through the instrument of negotiation and compromise.

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