Enough is enough, Gen. Sejusa tells Museveni in new letter

Gen-sejjusa1ARTICLE SUMMARY: You must set us free and set my suffering comrades free or we shall free ourselves.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY: David Sejusa is a Ugandan military general and coordinator of intelligence services who recently fell out with his bosses in Kampala  President Museveni and fled to the United Kingdom.
Fellow Ugandans I greet you all.
First, I wish to extend my sympathies to all those that have suffered personal injury, physical, monetary or any other during this difficult period in the history of our country.
Those media houses that were closed and the thousands of workers that have been rendered redundant including those young people who work as newspaper vendors on our streets; I extend my solidarity and reassurances that your struggle is not in vain.
The excuse given is that they are searching for the Sejusa letter. Well, they are not because the writer of the letter is known and in any case, the Red Pepper never published that letter. It just published a press release from lawyers.
So what is this closure about? One, it’s panic. Those who peddle the nonsense that the Muhoozi [Kainerugaba] debate is good for him think people are stupid. Well, they are not. If it’s good then why close the papers and radios? Let the papers write freely about it and sure you will then get your reward.
Of course it takes the lead off the can and it’s not only bad for the boy but actually dangerous to that ambition. That’s the truth. But of course it’s like the “Tower of Babel” – you wonder if they understand even what they are saying.
(A distinction should be made between Muhozi the man and Muhozi the UPDF officer. I personally would never for even a second discuss the affairs of that young man as a person, for it would be wrong and unacceptable. But then once you make him a general in the army, he ceases to be a private person in that regard and must pass certain scrutiny.)
Secondly, it’s intended to frighten everybody so that you surrender your country to the highest bidder. I will deal with the question of oppression and fear in my subsequent paragraphs but suffice to state here that the people have matured. You can see it in the resilience of those media houses, those young workers. That’s what is worrying those in power.
An assertive population is a death sentence to any regime that becomes intolerant. They know it and hence the terror [they have unleashed]. But whatever the case, it’s rather sad that a regime that can’t create jobs for the youth can deprive the few that have some work of that opportunity. There will be no regime survival if the youth are not employed.
For today, however, [I] wish to address my fellow Ugandans on one pertinent issue. This is the issue of abusing the law and institutions just to keep the current leadership in power. Just this one central issue, if not resolved, and pretty soon, will lead to ceaseless strife.
This is the issue of refusing to retire officers from the army so that they are rendered captive forever, so that none can challenge the regime. In essence, using the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF) as a prison so that anyone who threatens or is even rumored to have political ambitions is threatened with military law, death sentence, or other trash.
This became especially so after Dr. [Kizza] Besigye challenged Mr. Museveni for the presidency. Well, millions of Ugandans are perishing due to the breakdown of the state to such an extent that those death threats are of no consequence.
But, anyway, the point is that military law has become a political weapon for those in charge of the state to keep all potential political challengers under lock and key using that bogey of military law. That’s why Brigadier [Henry] Tumukunde, for instance, would not get a higher sentence than caution. Because sentencing him to a harsher punishment would automatically remove him from the military.
Then what do you do with him when he gets out? Imagine 70-year-olds who joined the army before some of us started school still serving and on the army pay roll; the taxpayer shouldering the burden to pay thousands of officers, many even on katebe (without work in the army) so that they keep their mouth shut! This abuse must stop.
It’s this single most abuse of our officers that is creating discontent and anger within the military which is now spilling over to the streets. You remember my case when I wanted to quit the military in 1996. Since that time I have not been in the mainstream command of the military. So why was I not allowed to retire? Simple, to keep my mouth shut and kill any political ambitions I may have.
It’s so sickening! I heard one person say that I have presidential ambitions; they think it’s a crime. That’s the mindset. No one else except them should have political ambitions. So vain and degenerate!
It becomes even more degrading when you want to fast track children to command positions. It’s immoral to keep a former commander of the army or such senior people in an army commanded by their children and grandchildren.
The decent thing would be to retire in honour those gallant sons and daughters of Uganda who gave their everything and covered you even in your sleep against all danger. Of course the reason is clear why they can’t be allowed to go: [to] eliminate any threat to any power related projects.
However, I am now saying enough is enough. Retire us and spare us the humiliation of having to salute our grandchildren. Period. Why have this leadership become so vengeful against the people who brought and gave them that power?
There is a verse in the Bible, in Hebrews Chapter 11:4, which says, “Even though he died he speaks!” I know those gallant sons and daughters who died in our struggle, and even those living, whisper to you at night. I would love to know how you answer those whispers! Of course for the record, betrayal never goes unpunished. It may not be you who may suffer it but it surely comes to visit at its own time.
The weapons of all oppressors are similar. They use the same weapons of control. These are deception, fear, ignorance of the oppressed, terror, threats, unjust laws, oppressive system; vulgar, decadent and immoral ways to dehumanise them, etc. These weigh down the courage of the oppressed like you see gravity pulling us to the ground.
The gravitational pull used against the oppressed is murder, torture, threats, etc. Many of us resisted them before. So for me that LINE OF LIMITATION does not apply. I refuse to succumb to perpetual abuse. You must set us free and set my suffering comrades free or we shall free ourselves. I speak for those gallant officers who are virtual prisoners in the army but can’t say a word because they fear to be framed and court-martialed or worse. Let them go. Let them retire, with or without benefits.
Freedom and dignity are better than retirement benefits, which is merely used as an excuse.
Thank you Ugandans for that incredible support. Just remember, always, Uganda is for all of us.
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