In 1997 when the Kony war was at its peak, Gen. David Tinyefuza tried to resign from the army, he claimed he was being harassed by UPDF leaders because of his testimony to a parliamentary committee that was investigating the causes of the Kony war. He went on to say army bosses were corrupt and inefficient the very reason the insurgency in northern Uganda was taking long to come to an end.
However, the president refused to release him from the UPDF, saying the general had not fully complied with UPDF’s conditions of service. Tinyefuza Challenged this in the Constitutional Court in 1997 claiming he had ceased being a soldier when he was appointed a presidential advisor on military affairs in 1993 and won the case.
His victory was short-lived though because the state successfully appealed to the supreme court which overturned the constitutional court’s ruling.
He was contained and retained in the army, a move that later saw the embattled general reconcile with the commander-in-chief.
The general is now in the eye of the storm over his recent letters and dossiers in the media, especially the latest one where he talks about a plot by the army and other security agencies to assassinate senior government officials as part of the plot to make the president’s son who is also the commander of the nations special forces command brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba the next president. In this letter the maverick general also raises questions about the recent Mbuya attack which he says was stage managed in order to frame senior government officials including the prime minister Amama Mbabazi. The General whose arrest has Reportedly been ordered by Museveni is currently out of the country and will be back soon
Below is Tinyefuza’s 1997 resignation letter
Re: Resignation From UPDF and High Command
With great difficulty, I have decided to resign as a Member of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces and also resign from the UPDF. There are several reasons but most important among those is that I feel I am unjustly being harrassed over my testimony before that Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs.
To require me to appear before the High Command so that Action is taken against me is rather too high handed.
I will state my reasons briefly:-
Article 90(1) of the Uganda Constitution 1995, states among other things that ‘Parliament shall appoint standing committees and other committees necessary for the efficient discharge of its functions.’
Then Article 90(A) says ‘In the exercise of their functions under this Article, committees of Parliament 90(4) may call any Minister or any person holding public office and private individuals to submit memoranda or appear before them to give evidence.’
Article 90(4) (c) “shall have powers of the High Court for (i) Enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on Oath Affirmation or otherwise, (ii) Compelling the production of Documents and (iii) issuing a commission or request to examine witnesses abroad.”
As can be seen from the above, I did appear before the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs under Article 90(4) (c). Its terms of reference were set by Parliament.
These include among others –
(a) Give evidence as to the causes of Kony War;
(b) Why it has taken Government so long to end that war;
(c) The effects of that war on the Country;
(d) How that war can be ended.
It is in light of the foregoing that I appeared before the Committee and gave testimony. In so doing I may have displeased a few people but when giving Evidence under Oath you do not do so to please people but to tell the truth, something I did very well in my view as a matter of fact.
There are many things which remained unsaid, which in my view thought were not good for National Security and in any case which may not have had serious bearing on the subject matter before the Committee.
This goes to prove that whatever was said was in good faith and to try to help this Country end the prevailing wars all round. I wish to state that:-
(a) I did not request nor volunteer to appear before this Committee.
(b) Was summoned by it.
(c) The Summons were served on the Army Commander who only informed me. The terms of Reference which allow the press a free access were not set by me.
(d) In my view, a Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs has a right to know matters concerning the Army and war. After all that is why it was set up. Article 42 of our Constitution requires that any person appearing before any administrative official or body has a right to be treated justly and fairly and shall have a right to apply to a Court of law in respect of any Administrative decision taken against him or her.
I am of the strong view that I will not have that Constitutional right before the UPDF High Command for obvious reasons. It is therefore, because of the above that I must resign from the Army and subsequently its High Command.
I find it unjustified to continue serving in an institution whose bodies I have no faith in or whose views I do not subscribe to.
I must say sir, that it was a privilege and an honour to serve the National Resistance Army and the UPDF and more particularly to serve under you.
As one said, I owe much to your wise guidance and kindly for bearance. I know my own faults very well and I do not suppose I am an easy subordinate; I like to go my own way. But you have kept me on the rail’s in difficult and stormy times, and have taught me much. For all this, I am grateful. And I thank you for all you have done for me.
Needless to say, it has been a great honour to have been a Member of this Historic Army and Mission.” We have achieved much in war; may we achieve even more in peace.
Your Very Devoted Commorade,
DAVID-TINYEFUZA -MUWUNGU-BWAJOJ O