If Parliament's committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline has its way, run-away intelligence chief Gen David Sejusa may not be an MP for much longer.
Sejusa, one of the 10 army MPs, was on September 17 referred to the committee, following his unexplained absence from Parliament over 15 consecutive sittings. The committee, which initially had up to October 10 to complete its work, says it will report to Parliament on November 5.
"There have been some correspondences between the committee and [Gen Sejusa] but they have all been one way. In fact, we have written a total of 10 summonses to him but we have not received any response ... and now the committee is in agreement that we proceed and write a report with recommendations to Parliament," said Fox Odoi (West Budama North) on Friday.
The last summons was written on October 17 and sent to Sejusa's email address, pigeon hole in Parliament, residence in Uganda, and to the British High Commission in Kampala for onward transmission to his UK residence. However, by the time the committee reconvened on Friday, it had not heard from Sejusa.
Nevertheless Sejusa's lawyers told The Observer last week that their client was uninterested in the proceedings.
"The [fresh] summonses were idle because our client had already expressed disinterest in appearing before the committee for any reason. It amounted to conducting a fishing expedition, chasing what they are sure of not getting," said Dennis Mukasa Mbidde, one of his lawyers.
When they first appeared before the committee on October 1, Sejusa's lawyers appeared keen to have their client make his case to the committee through Skype, teleconferencing or by the MPs meeting him in the UK. Later on, however, Sejusa lost interest and ordered his lawyers not to cooperate with the committee.
"We needed to know the reasons why he couldn't come and wanted us to meet him in London, but they never got back to pursue [the request]," Fox Odoi said.
"Besides, we wanted it in writing."
However, Mbidde says the request was rendered irrelevant two days after it had been made, when he (Mbidde) returned to the committee with a letter informing the MPs that Sejusa had opted out of the proceedings.
But without any document signed by Sejusa himself, Fox Odoi explains, the committee could not take correspondences from his lawyers too seriously. Other than evidence, the committee recorded from the minister of state for Defence, Gen Jeje Odongo, deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Charles Angina, and the head of the army caucus in Parliament, Gen Elly Tumwine, among others, the committee has reportedly based some of its recommendations on the parliamentary register.
We have been told that in the said register, Sejusa's name appears only four times since the start of the ninth Parliament, which may influence the committee's decision. Some committee members such as Abdu Katuntu (Bugweri) and Medard Lubega Sseggona (Busiro East) have previously questioned the rationale for army MPs, arguing that the majority rarely sit in Parliament.
Gen Sejusa left Uganda in May as a letter he wrote speculating on Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba's presidential bid was published in the press. He has since declared that he will work to ensure that Muhoozi's father, President Museveni, is overthrown.