Monday, September 30, 2013

Uganda: President Accused of Abusing Army, Misusing Funds

Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Uganda: President Accused of Abusing Army, Misusing Funds

Photo: New Vision/File
Uganda forces (file photo): The president has allegedly been accused of killing army soldiers and misusing its for funds for his election campaigns.
The exiled Coordinator of Uganda's Intelligence Services has called for the removal of President Yoweri Museveni from the High Command of the Uganda People's Defense Forces (UPDF).
General David Sejusa said Mr. Museveni has abused the army, killed its officers and stolen money intended for the army which he has instead used to rig elections.
He said the UPDF is a people's army, not Mr. Museveni's, and must therefore reclaim its place in society.
"He abuses the system, he abuses the institution of the army, he doesn't follow the law, he subverts the workings of the institution and, when he's criticized about it, he turns around to those people who say that he should change he and depicts them in the bad light, and they are the ones who should leave the institution, not the one who subverts the institution. Things have got to put into their proper perspective. He who is causing a problem must be void, not the other way around," he said.
Sejusa fled Uganda in April after writing a letter alleging that there was a scheme to assassinate senior government and military officials perceived to be against an alleged plot to have Mr. Museveni's son, Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba, succeed his father as president.
The government has since denied the existence of such a plan, and the army has said it will charge Sejusa with treason for "failing to protect classified documents."
Sejusa said President Museveni cannot charge anyone with treason when he himself has abrogated the constitution.
"Why should Mr. President remove people from the High Command illegally and he himself thinks he cannot be challenged for breaking the law? The president who does not respect the law, or who cannot respect the constitution, cannot take refuge in the law. If you want the law to protect you, you must not abuse the law. So, Mr. Museveni, in order for him to invoke the protection of the law, he must follow the constitution of Uganda," Sejusa said.
Sejusa said the UPDF must liberate itself as an army. He accused President Museveni of involving the army in prolonged fighting with the Lord's Resistance Army rebels for profit and political survival.
"We came to power in 1986. Since that time, we've been fighting the insurgency in the country for 27 years. Because of Mr. Museveni's mistakes, he couldn't win this war. This conflict now has been externalized, and you cannot have an army fighting for 27 years without rest. So, (Mr. Museveni) he's been using this conflict for political survival, and I'm saying enough is enough."
Sejusa, who is also a member of Uganda's parliament, left the country after requesting for leave under the pretext he was traveling on "official security assignment." He has since applied for an extension of his leave.
He said, while the speaker of parliament is currently looking into his request for an extension, he has also asked his lawyer to look into the legality of what happens if someone leaves parliament because his life is being threatened.
"My contention, which I told my lawyer, is I didn't leave Uganda willingly. I'm not sitting out of the country because I want to. Therefore, I need the lawyer to look at this aspect. What happens when someone is absent from parliament, not out of his own free will, but because a regime is hunting him down," Sejusa said.
Sejusa said his request is not so much about being in parliament, but rather the principle behind it, the rule of law and about institutionalizing the rule, not personalizing the rule.

The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: I'm On High Command for Life

In a new letter, exiled Gen David Sejusa makes the case for why he can't be ejected from Parliament and the army's high command, almost a month after he asked for an extension to his official leave from the House.
In his letter, channelled through his lawyer Joseph Luzige at the weekend, Sejusa, one of the 10 army representatives in the 9th Parliament, attempts to knock down individual objections to his membership to Parliament and the army after his falling out with the establishment.
"... so Mr President, you can posture with those intended actions against me, like dismissals, court martials, treason trials, abuses, lies... etc, but the people of Uganda who own that UPDF high command, will deal with all the abusers in good time. So, yes [I am] a member of the UPDF high command by law. Unless he goes to Parliament to change it, he [Museveni] has no power to sack me. Can Museveni take away my citizenship? No, he can't! And can he remove me from the high command, no, he can't... ," Sejusa said.
This latest challenge comes as Speaker Rebecca Kadaga awaits the army's opinion on Sejusa's status in the army before she decides whether to extend his official leave from Parliament for a second time.
About leaving Parliament, Sejusa accused Museveni of personalizing state power, adding that anyone who pointed out government excesses was branded a traitor.
"If I am to leave Parliament, the law must be followed to the letter... So, I will not leave Parliament because that dictator wants it so. Uganda is ours. That Parliament belongs to the people of Uganda and not Mr Museveni... ," Sejusa wrote.
His latest missive comes as senior army officers, notably army chief Gen Katumba Wamala and army MP Gen Elly Tumwine suggested that Sejusa's stance was likely to endanger his status in the UPDF.
Sejusa is also unbothered that some people have referred to him as a renegade. "What is in a name? Remember I was once called a bandit and worse. They [names] really mean nothing within the actual context of fighting for freedom. Thus on whether I'm a renegade or whatever, history will be the judge... ," he said.
In an interview a fortnight ago, the UPDF spokesman, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, said the army was still consulting and would soon reply to Speaker Kadaga, on Sejusa's status in the army. In the meantime, Ankunda said, Sejusa remained an army officer and MP.
Sejusa has been in the spotlight since April, after he penned a dossier, in which he demanded an investigation into a rumoured plot to kill top army and government officials opposed to the alleged presidential ambitions of Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Muhoozi is President Museveni's son and the commander of the elite Special Forces Command.
The government and the army have denied that there is any plan to groom him for the presidency. Speaking about his job as coordinator of intelligence services, Sejusa accused Ugandan security of "ransacking" his offices as if they were personal property.
"So, you destroy the offices with armed thugs, then you turn around and say [I] am still coordinator, of what, Mr President?" he said.
However, Presidential Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi laughed at Sejusa's charge of ransacking his offices.
"How can a woman who ran away from marriage because of misconduct go through her auntie and advise on what should be done in her former husband's home?" Tamale said.
"In the first place, why did Sejusa run away and choose to go through third parties persons to air his views? Being idle now, he should resort on writing a book and tell us even how he arrested some politicians, caned then before producing them into courts of laws."

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