Back to Africa Check

Viral Time magazine cover with image of Muhoozi Kainerugaba, son of Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, is fake

IN SHORT: Having your image on a fake cover of Time magazine circulating is almost a rite of passage – just ask former US president Donald Trump. But that doesn’t make it real, and this image of Ugandan army general Muhoozi Kainerugaba is fake.

An image of what appears to be the cover of the US news magazine Time is circulating on Facebook, featuring Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni’s son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.

The cover shows Kainerugaba in military uniform. The stripes and bars on his chest seem to indicate high military rank. It has been dated “April 2023”.

The strapline on the cover reads: “The most loved African Army General of all time he is refered to as an inspirational Pan-Africanist and a Generational Leader Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba of Uganda.”

Kainerugaba was the commander of the land forces in the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces, but was dropped from the position after controversial tweets about Kenya in 2022. He was, however, promoted to the rank of general and remains a senior presidential adviser for special operations.

But did Time feature him on the cover of its April 2023 edition? We checked.


Fake cover

The poor writing on the magazine cover is the first sign that it is fabricated. It's unlikely an internationally respected publication like Time would publish a cover with random capitalisation, a spelling error and missing punctuation marks.

The magazine has published guides on how readers can identify fake covers. One way is to check if a cover exists in the Time vault, a section of its website where all Time covers are displayed.  We checked for an edition featuring Kainerugaba and came out empty. 

Two editions were published in April 2023 – the magazine is published twice a month. The issue published on 10 April featured Puerto Rican rapper Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, also known as Bad Bunny, on the cover. The 24 April/1 May edition featured fingerprint art on the cover.

While each issue of Time usually shows date, month and year, the fake version has only the month and year. The cover with Kainerugaba has been fabricated.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.