The exiled Coordinator of Uganda’s Intelligence Services has called for the removal of President Yoweri Museveni from the High Command of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF).
General David Sejusa said Mr. Museveni has abused the army, killed its officers and stolen money intended for the army which he has instead used to rig elections.
He said the UPDF is a people’s army, not Mr. Museveni’s, and must therefore reclaim its place in society.
“He abuses the system, he abuses the institution of the army, he doesn’t follow the law, he subverts the workings of the institution and, when he’s criticized about it, he turns around to those people who say that he should change he and depicts them in the bad light, and they are the ones who should leave the institution, not the one who subverts the institution. Things have got to put into their proper perspective. He who is causing a problem must be void, not the other way around,” he said.
Sejusa fled Uganda in April after writing a letter alleging that there was a scheme to assassinate senior government and military officials perceived to be against an alleged plot to have Mr. Museveni’s son, Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba, succeed his father as president.
The government has since denied the existence of such a plan, and the army has said it will charge Sejusa with treason for “failing to protect classified documents.”
Sejusa said President Museveni cannot charge anyone with treason when he himself has abrogated the constitution.
“Why should Mr. President remove people from the High Command illegally and he himself thinks he cannot be challenged for breaking the law? The president who does not respect the law, or who cannot respect the constitution, cannot take refuge in the law. If you want the law to protect you, you must not abuse the law. So, Mr. Museveni, in order for him to invoke the protection of the law, he must follow the constitution of Uganda,” Sejusa said.
Sejusa said the UPDF must liberate itself as an army. He accused President Museveni of involving the army in prolonged fighting with the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels for profit and political survival.
“We came to power in 1986. Since that time, we’ve been fighting the insurgency in the country for 27 years. Because of Mr. Museveni’s mistakes, he couldn’t win this war. This conflict now has been externalized, and you cannot have an army fighting for 27 years without rest. So, (Mr. Museveni) he’s been using this conflict for political survival, and I’m saying enough is enough.”
Sejusa, who is also a member of Uganda’s parliament, left the country after requesting for leave under the pretext he was traveling on “official security assignment.” He has since applied for an extension of his leave.
He said, while the speaker of parliament is currently looking into his request for an extension, he has also asked his lawyer to look into the legality of what happens if someone leaves parliament because his life is being threatened.
“My contention, which I told my lawyer, is I didn’t leave Uganda willingly. I’m not sitting out of the country because I want to. Therefore, I need the lawyer to look at this aspect. What happens when someone is absent from parliament, not out of his own free will, but because a regime is hunting him down,” Sejusa said.
Sejusa said his request is not so much about being in parliament, but rather the principle behind it, the rule of law and about institutionalizing the rule, not personalizing the rule.