Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has named his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations.

Kainerugaba, 42, who was Special Forces Commander, was appointed on Monday night.

His deputy Don Nabaasa was promoted to Colonel and appointed acting Commander of the Special Forces Command.

He will now be in charge of the president’s security and other sensitive installations in the country Museveni has ruled since 1986.

Museveni, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, won a new five-year term in elections last year that the opposition said were rigged.

Analysts have said Kainerugaba’s appointment is part of a plan to groom him to take over the top job.

Political rivals have regularly accused the 72-year-old President of handing powerful positions to members of his family and adopting an increasingly autocratic style – charges his supporters dismiss.

His brother, Salim Saleh, is another presidential adviser and his wife, Janet Museveni, is minister of education.

“Muhoozi … is going to play a significant role in a post-Museveni Uganda, there’s no doubt about it,” said political commentator and rights activist Nicholas Opiyo.

“He is just giving the boy a hand in experiencing how government works on the side of politics.”

Human rights lawyer and political commentator Andrew Karamagi described the appointment as a “real clear move to bring the man closer to succession”.