14 October 2016

Uganda: UPDF Soldiers Camp At Gen Sejusa's Home

Photo: Ismail Kezaala
(file photo).

Outside Gen David Sejusa's home in Naguru, a Kampala suburb, more soldiers have been deployed. The soldiers are camped in about 10 tents.

The Observer has learnt from a security source that when Sejusa was still in Luzira prison, the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen Kabumba Wamala ordered the deployment of a few soldiers inside his compound. But after he was released on bail on April 1, 2016, President Museveni ordered a reenforcement.

"When the commander-in-chief [President Museveni] got information linking Sejusa after his release to mobilizing youths to do suspect, sinister activities, he ordered for more deployment at his residence. He also ordered close surveillance of his movements," the source said.

On January 31 this year, Gen Sejusa was arrested and arraigned before the General Court Martial on charges of insubordination, participating in activities contrary to the UPDF Act and being away without official leave (AWOL).

When this writer visited Sejusa's residence on Wednesday morning, there were 10 army tents, five on each side of the gate outside the compound. At the gate, one bodyguard came out. When this writer asked to speak to the general, the bodyguard said it is no longer easy to see Sejusa without an appointment.

"Things have changed these days. You must first call him and when he allows you to come, he will inform those soldiers over there," the bodyguard said, pointing to the more than 10 soldiers outside.

Sejusa couldn't pick his calls nor respond to this writer's phone messages. Interviewed on Wednesday, Sejusa's lawyer David Mushabe confirmed more soldiers have been deployed at his client's residence.

"Gen Sejusa had no problem with the few soldiers inside his compound though he knew they were spying on him but when their leader began misbehaving by disturbing his maids, he asked me to complain to higher army authorities, which I did. I convinced them to put these soldiers outside his residence. But the number [of soldiers] is increasing every passing day... ," Mushabe said.

A security officer who declined to be named said in an October 12 interview that President Museveni decided to deploy after getting information that Sejusa was using his residence as a base to recruit and ferry youths to unknown destinations to carry out suspicious activities.

A confidant of Sejusa confirmed this allegation but added: "I don't think the information the army gets is true but because Sejusa is part of the intelligence system, he also gets counter intelligence information from some of the people trailing him and this is the reason why he is comfortable with the presence of these soldiers as longer as he is allowed to move freely here in the country and abroad."

Some boda boda riders stationed near Sejusa's home said on October 12 that more soldiers began arriving last Friday. Sejusa tweeted about the deployment on October 11, saying that soldiers had surrounded his house.

His confidant said the general, who is a former coordinator of intelligence services, is annoyed with, among other things, the sentencing of six of his former aides in July this year. They were found guilty by the General Court Martial of offences related to plotting to overthrow the government.

The six who have since appealed to the General Court Martial of Appeal are: Corporal Grace Nasasira, Corporal Geoffrey Karuhanga, Private Frank Ninsiima, James Karuhanga Nayebare, Moses Kakarugahi Nuwagaba and Abel Twinamatsiko.

"Sejusa is angry with the army court for sentencing the six youths accused of mobilizing for him soldiers to overthrow the government when he himself was not accused of the same offence and other high-ranking soldiers mentioned in police statements," the confidant said.

Asked to comment, army spokesman Lt Col Paddy Ankunda sent a message saying "I'm busy can't talk to you now."


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