The army is yet to issue a summon and prefer a charge against General David Sejusa, a member of the High Command in the Uganda People’s Defence Force over his assassination claims.
Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, the army spokesperson told Red Pepper Online that Sejusa would not be arrested as has been indicated by sections of the public. He said an arrest was not necessary adding that as a senior military officer, Sejusa could only be summoned either by police or an appropriate authority to respond to queries about the concerns he raised in his letter.
There has been speculation that Sejusa popularly known as Tinyefuza; a name he recently denounced would be arrested once he returned from overseas where he currently is. Tinyefuza caused intense debate and unease when he authored a letter alleging that there was a plot to assassinate individuals thought to oppose a project he said was to prepare Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the president’s son to succeed his father, Yoweri Museveni.
Ankunda admitted that Sejusa raised serious issues in his letter but chose a wrong forum to disseminate them, an act he described as ‘sowing seeds of discord’. He added that the responsibility now lies with the Commander in Chief, the president, to take action against Sejusa to avoid setting a bad pattern.
He explained that Sejusa had several appropriate channels such as the High Command where he is a member to express the concerns other than a public domain. He added that the concerns risk defying the military.
Ankunda also added that presently the Office of the Coordinator of Intelligence Services where Sejusa works as Coordinator of both Internal Security Organization and External Security Organization is not functional as it has been closed by police to allow investigations. He however maintained that Sejusa who is deputised by Brigadier Sam Waswa Balikagede was still a member of the army.
It’s not yet clear what action the army will take against Sejusa. However, if charged and convicted, he could cease to attend High Command meetings among other things. The UPDF Act 2005, bars convicted members from participating in High Command meetings. According to the Act, Tinyefunza is among 6 army officers who are the original members of the High Command. Others are retired General Yoweri Museveni,General Elly Tumwine, Gen Salim Saleh Akandwanaho, Gen David Tinyefuza, and Honorary Brigadier Eriya Kategaya who died recently and retired Brigadier Matayo Kyaligonza.
It s not the first time that Tinyefuza who also serves both as senior Presidential Advisor on Security and UPDF Member of Parliament has written a letter. Last year he wrote another letter warning about impunity and public safety that was published in the newspapers.
In 1996 Sejusa, then called Tinyefuza, caused a shock when he sought to retire from the army and later petitioned the Constitutional court after the institution blocked his exit.
Tinyefuza would become the second senior army officer to face prosecution for expressing themselves in the media.
Recently, Brigadier Henry Tumukunde, a former Director of Internal Security Organization, was sentenced to a severe reprimand after a guilty verdict of behaving in a manner that is prejudicial to good order and discipline of the army. The charge followed comments the officer made during a radio program.