15 December 2013

Uganda: Claims Museveni Offered 2 Million Ugandan Votes in Favour of S. Sudan Independence

Kampala — A dissident Ugandan General has sensationally claimed that long serving Uganda ruler Yoweri Museveni was willing to offer two million Ugandans to vote in favour of South Sudan's independence from Sudan. South Sudan voted to secede from Sudan in a 2011 referendum.

General David Sejusa, the former coordinator of Uganda intelligence services and until recently a member of Uganda's parliament and member of the high command of the Ugandan military revealed this on Saturday at the London School of Economics where the launch of the new opposition group, Freedom and Unity Front (FUF), took place. The organisation aims at dislodging Museveni from power.

Segusa gave the example of Museveni's offer to Garang to prove his allegations that the Ugandan leader always rigs elections.

"Museveni has no democratic credentials. He has never had them. I was with him in the bush. I have been with him for long. You know when the late Garang... I can give you this story... they [South Sudan] were going for a referendum ... this is how he[Garang] fell off with Mr Museveni and the leadership in South Sudan knows, Mr Museveni tells Mr Garang "We must win this referendum at any cost... you know I can give you two million of my Bakiga ... and you know they can fix things for us," Museveni reportedly told Garang, according to Sejusa. The Bakiga are a tribe in western Uganda, the same region where Museveni hails from.

"The idea was for him [Museveni] to have a strong hold in South Sudan. How can such a person be a democrat? That's how he fell off with Garang," Sejusa said without further explanation on how the South Sudan liberation hero fell out with Museveni.

But the Uganda dissident suggested that the late Garang rejected Museveni's offer and appears to give that as reason why Garang fell off with Museveni. Again he did not explain how the fall off between the two leaders manifested itself.

Garang died in an air crash in August 2005 while on his way to South Sudan from Uganda. He was Vice president of Sudan at the time of the crash in a Ugandan presidential chopper after meeting Museveni at his country home in western Uganda.

Bad weather was blamed for the crash which also claimed the lives of six South Sudanese officials and seven crew of the Mi 72 chopper.

Since fleeing to London Segusa has said Museveni cannot be removed from office through elections.

On Saturday the renegade General repeated the claims and said Museveni was beaten in the 2006 elections by his arch rival Kiiza Besigye who got 69% of the votes. But according to Sejusa, the results were changed by the Uganda's intelligence services which set up a parallel vote tallying centre different from that of the official electoral commission.

In a challenge of the election results by Besigye in court, the country's Supreme court ruled that much as there were election irregularities it was "substantially enough" to affect the outcome of the elections.

Sejusa fled the Uganda after writing a letter to the internal security services asking them to investigate an alleged plan to murder those opposed to "Project Muhoozi"- a reference to an alleged plot by Museveni to make his son, Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba succeed him.

Brig Kainerugaba is commander of the Special Forces which among others is tasked with protecting his father and Uganda's strategic assets. He has risen rapidly through the army ranks.

The Ugandan government has in the past dismissed Sejusa as a disgruntled officer making outrageous claims to get attention and possibly political asylum in the United Kingdom. The Uganda government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo even alleged that Sejusa was speaking under the drugs in an interview with Sudan Tribune in April.

Sejusa who has not ruled the possibility of using force to unseat Museveni using force has also received a response from the Ugandan president: "If he wants to use force, let him come. He knows my address. We have been waiting for him for some few months now," Museveni said in October.

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