11 November 2012

Uganda: Tinyefuza - How Can I Run Away?

The coordinator of intelligence services, Gen David Sejusa, has said the people reacting angrily to critical views he recently expressed concerning the growing lawlessness and impunity in the country are Uganda's enemies.

Sejusa, who made the remarks last Tuesday during a phone-in talk show, programme, Simbula, on Top Radio, also denied sneaking his family out of the country after his utterances in the press last month. In his letter to Daily Monitor, published on October 1, Gen Sejusa (formerly Tinyefuza), had warned of "creeping lawlessness, impunity, arrogance and insensitive behaviour" among "some actors who manage the affairs of the state".

The remarks were followed by intense speculation, with some people suggesting that Sejusa was to be court-martialed for the outburst while a tabloid recently stated that he was about to flee the country.

"There is nothing that can make me run away or sneak my family abroad. If I didn't run away from [Gen Idi] Amin's regime when I was not even a soldier, when I was arrested on three occasions, what can make me run now?" said Sejusa, a UPDF representative in Parliament.

He dismissed media reports that he would be court-martialed, and that he is no longer on good terms with President Museveni.

"I have been writing worse things than what was published in the papers -- journalists just don't access some of them -- yet I'm still in close contact with the President. It is actually those who are against my views that are the country's enemies," Sejusa said.

Another category of Uganda's enemies, he said, are the opposition leaders who think when somebody positively criticises some people within the government, they have fallen out. Sejusa said when he threatened not to vacate a house in Kololo belonging to Kampala Capital City Authority as ordered by its executive director, Jennifer Musisi, last year, opposition politicians were eager to see his reaction in order to capitalise on it.

"Whereas some people expected me to beat up this girl, my argument not to leave the house was on the principle of a government institution evicting a government body. After this eviction, the government now rents an alternative house for me, and [pays for it] in dollars," Sejusa revealed.

In July 2011, Musisi who had recently been appointed KCCA executive director, wrote to Sejusa, asking him to furnish the Authority with documentation detailing the basis on which his office was occupying the property -- which had been the mayor's official residence -- and any formal instrument mandating such occupation. The alternative she gave was a formal handover of the property to KCCA by August 2, 2011.

The house, located on Plot 2 Mabua road in Kololo, had been irregularly allocated to the intelligence services in March 2008. In his reply to Musisi, Sejusa said the property was a coordination centre for intelligence and security and was serving the government in its effort to maintain peace and security in the country -- so he would not hand it over and he would not be evicted. However, Sejusa eventually gave in and vacated the house later that August, avoiding the confrontation that many people had anticipated.

It is believed that Sejusa's criticism of government officials over what he described as impunity and arrogance was inspired by that KCCA incident in which the usually confrontational General was forced to back down.

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