, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 20 – He poked the tiger and effectively discounted the popular childhood mantra that, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.’
His words put four news outlets out of business for ten days and caused him to flee a homeland he has fought for but General David Sejusa is adamant that he will not eat his words.
It all started on May 7 when the Daily Monitor, a publication of the Nation Media Group, published the contents of a letter written by General Sejusa, Uganda’s Chief Intelligence Officer at the time.
The letter called for investigations into an alleged plot to assassinate any senior member of the Ugandan Army and of President Yoweri Museveni’s government who stood in the way of Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s ascension to President once his father gives up the office.
“I wrote the letter ordering for an investigation,” Sejusa told the BBC in his first public appearance since he sought asylum in the United Kingdom a month ago. “As a head of investigation, or any organisation for that matter, there is information that you take as rumours on the street but then there is information that you take seriously. It is then incumbent for the person who is leading that portfolio to investigate.”
A plot the Ugandan government has since denied leading it to stall operations at the Daily Monitor, the Red Pepper newspaper and two radio stations in its bid to locate the letter from which the publications sourced their stories on the alleged assassination plot.
The four-star General told the BBC that Museveni has abandoned the democratic ideals they fought for when the National Resistance Army toppled Tito Okello 27 years ago making it necessary for him to be removed from office.
“Really the son is a tiny factor. The central issue is a political monarchy; a life presidency and then transiting to a political monarchy. It’s a common African story so people should not act as if they are hearing this for the first time. When a person has been in power for 30 years they start playing God,” he said.
Sejusa accused Museveni of trying to return Uganda to its turbulent past by refusing to give up power after he orchestrated the revocation of the constitutional provision limiting a Presidency to two-terms, “Who gave Mr Museveni the right to rule over us forever?”
The Ugandan General has himself come under criticism for the public relations war he has waged against President Museveni but while he takes ownership of his Presidential ambitions, he says he had them all along and there was no room in which to nurture them.
“What happens is that once you are in the military and you think you have the capacity to be anything else you are never released from the military,” he said.
It to remains to be seen however, if Sejusa’s are the ranting of a lone man or indicative of a growing disquiet in President Museveni’s government as the latter is serving his fourth term as President after getting 68 percent of the votes cast two years ago managing to crush his main opposition Kizza ‘the hammer’ Besigye.