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{UAH} RUMOUR HAS IT…Museveni beats up Sejusa


In the late 1990s, Gen David Sejusa (Tinyefuza), the controversial army general, spectacularly fell out with President Museveni.
It all began when Sejusa was summoned by the 6th parliament to shed light on allegations that during the LRA conflict, the UPDF had also committed atrocities against the local population. He was invited because he had once commanded the offensive against the LRA in 1992 (he famously instructed soldiers to frog march Lango politicians, Omara Atubo and Zachary Olum as he brushed his teeth).
In a "tell-it-all manner, the disgruntled general admitted that UPDF soldiers had committed some grave mistakes in the conflict which in some cases led to loss of lives of civilians.
His revelations shook the nation and Gen Mugisha Muntu; the then army commander summoned him to find out why he was saying the things he was saying.
Mbu in the meeting, Muntu cajoled and threatened to discipline Sejusa. But the general stuck to his guns and maintained that he meant what he told parliament.
He also told Muntu that he was tired of serving in the army and wanted to leave.
Sejusa later went to the Constitutional court seeking its interpretation on whether he could leave the army, without retiring formally. After a dramatic process, the court ruled in his favour.
But the celebrations were short-lived after the Supreme court overturned the Constitutional court ruling and maintained that Sejusa was still a serving army officer.
Yet even after this ruling, Sejusa maintained that he was no longer a member of UPDF.
One day, Museveni summoned the general to State House, Nakasero for a meeting.
The president gave him one last chance to reconsider his stand. Sejusa declined the offer.
So Museveni told the general that now that he no longer wanted to be part of "my" army, he should surrender all the guns and property, that belongs to the state.
In the next couple of days, his bodyguards were withdrawn and the army searched all his two houses (in Kyengera and Ssembabule) and took away the guns, cars, army uniforms etc…
Without the guns and body guards, Sejusa felt naked and exposed and this was the opportune time for Museveni to teach the general that those who oppose him usually do not get away with it.
So in the next months, Museveni tightened the noose around Sejusa. His businesses were investigated and some banks were instructed to recall the loans they had extended to the general.
Within six months, Sejusa was struggling financially and it started to show.
For someone who was used to a lavish life, Sejusa started begging small monies from friends (including from a prominent journalist, who has since died).
To escape this harsh life, some of his bush war friends like Gen Elly Tumwine, advised him to apologize to Museveni.
Others like Robert Ssebunya, a Buganda minister, told Sejusa not to turn back on his word no matter the consequences (it is interesting that Ssebunya now works as an advisor to Museveni).
Sejusa did not know what to do. His life was getting worse by the day yet publicly he still put on a brave face.
One morning, Gen Salim Saleh (who else?) paid Sejusa a surprise visit.
He carried with him a bottle of whisky, Johnnie Walker, Black Label (Sejusa's favourite drink). The two drank and reminisced about their exploits during the NRA war.
Then Saleh pleaded with Sejusa to come back into the army fold, promising that he will be given whatever he wants. Sejusa said he needed some money (immediately) and later, a big position, where he would have control over his budget.
Saleh assured him that his requests would be honoured.
Saleh then met Museveni and delivered the news. Museveni agreed to give Sejusa some "rehabilitation money" but first, he needed to meet him face to face.
So one day in the early 2000s, Sejusa was told that Museveni was ready to meet him.
The venue of the meeting would be Bombo military barracks.
The meeting had been scheduled for mid-day so Sejusa drove to Bombo early enough and by 10.00am, he was at the gate.
He was ushered into the military facility and taken to a waiting room.
Sejusa waited and waited but there was no sign of Museveni.
Then after a short while, Gen Jeje Odong, the army commander, came in. He was followed by Maj Gen James Kazini, then UPDF chief of staff; Brig Stephen Kashaka, who was the CPA (Chief of Personnel and Administration) and Brig Noble Mayombo, who was then deputy CMI. They all exchanged pleasantries with Sejusa before heading to the boardroom. They were headed for a high command meeting which was to be chaired by Museveni.
At about 3.00 PM, Museveni's convoy arrived at Bombo.
Museveni disembarked and was told that Sejusa was around.
He said he would meet him after the high command meeting.
Between 4.00PM and midnight, Museveni chaired the high command meeting, as Sejusa, who come 14 hours earlier, waited.
At midnight after the army meeting, Sejusa was ushered into a room where he found Museveni seated at the tip of the table. Museveni had instructed his aides to wait outside since this would be a brief meeting.
Mbu, once inside the room, Sejusa was told to remove his shoes.
Mbu, Museveni then ordered him to sit on a chair and place his feet on the table, on which the president had placed his AK 47.
Sejusa was confused and did not know why he was being told to do all these things. But he did them anyway.
Mbu after, Museveni picked up his AK 47 and using the butt, he started whipping Sejusa's feet.
"Never, never disobey me. Never," Mbu Museveni said, as Sejusa wailed loudly, saying he was sorry.
After a short while, Museveni told him that he had forgiven him. He then asked him to leave the room.
Mbu, soldiers were shocked to see Sejusa limping out of the room, holding his shoes.
A few months later, Sejusa was appointed a senior presidential advisor on military affairs. Years later, he was made coordinator of Intelligence Services, an office that came with a hefty budget (Shs 300 million per month).
In 2013, Sejusa again fell out with Museveni and fled to the UK. When life in exile became unbearable the general asked to come back. He did come back in December 2014, joined forces with the opposition and ruffled a few political feathers. He later met the president and reiterated that he wanted to retire from the army. In the meeting, Museveni agreed but then he issued instructions to the army leadership not to let Sejusa go. The army general went to court which ruled in his favour and instructed that he should be paid Shs 800 million in compensation and damages. I don't know whether Gen Sejusa has received the money but his silence is deafening.

Allaah gives the best to those who leave the choice to Him."And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things." (6:17)

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