The Facts: Why And How Gen. Sejusa Returned To Uganda

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Gen. Sejusa

[Commentary]

The Facts Free Uganda and Gen Sejusa Homecoming

In response to some shoddy and baseless rumors and speculations about a supposed deal between the Free Uganda Chairman, General David Sejusa, and the regime of Mr Museveni, Free Uganda has decided to make the following clarifications.

General Sejusa did not come to re-join Museveni’s government.

Free Uganda has categorically and numerously stated that General Sejusa’s returned to Uganda was part of a comprehensive FU strategy to relocate to Uganda and continue its struggle for a better Uganda from the ground. The decision to come home and challenge Mr Museveni’s 30 year stay in power right on the ground, and not from thousands of miles away, was not taken lightly by Free Uganda. It was reached after serious reflections by the Free Uganda leadership about the implications of such a move for the overall struggle for a new democratic dispensation as well as a politically stable and economically prosperous Motherland.  

Prior to the departure of the FU Chairman for Uganda, Free Uganda executives were fully engaged in a serious debate, which involved a number of FU activists, supporters and sympathizers.  A collective decision was eventually taken, endorsing the move to relocate, and confirming that General Sejusa would lead the homeward journey, to be followed by other executives in due course.

On the day of departure arrangements were made for some FU leaders to accompany the FU Chairman to Heathrow airport, although for operational reasons not all leaders were to come to the airport. For some leaders who were to go to the airport, for example the FU press secretary, it was a personal decision not to go to Heathrow as it was too early in the morning.

General David Sejusa was tasked FU leadership to oversee the organization’s relocation

Opposition leaders Informed:

It was not deemed necessary for free Uganda to belabor this point. But following some misleading reports in the media on the subject, FU now wishes to clarify as follows;

Two weeks before Gen Sejusa returned to Uganda, Free Uganda decided that a few opposition leaders be briefed confidentially about the decision for the General to return home. Among those briefed was Dr Kizza Besigye.

Dr Besigye was briefed on the 29th of November 2014. His reply was that he needed more time to think about the news.

On 5th December 2014 again Dr Besigye was sought out and informed that General Sejusa would be returning home and a request was put to him that he organizes some leaders to meet the General at Entebbe international airport. He was specifically briefed that if they did not, government would try to hijack the event and twist it to cause confusion. Indeed, this is what happened.

Dr Besigye responded that he did not understand the intention of all this and suggested that the General waits and they (Dr Besigye and Gen Sejusa) first meet in London in January 2015.

Free Uganda went ahead with the return arrangements. Once again, through the lawyer who was handling the travel arrangement, contact was made with Dr Besigye and two other opposition leaders, and this time, it was to the effect that General Sejusa was indeed on the way to Uganda.

Therefore it is not true that some of these leaders were not informed. With modern communications technology, it is not difficult to establish the truth about these communications.

On the two young people sent by Mr Museveni

Free Uganda had been mobilizing and organizing for the return of its Chairman for 4 months. At first this was among a small group within the leadership, in order to avoid leakages, but with time other leaders and activists from inside Uganda, other parts of Africa and even Europe joined in the strategy discussions. Indeed some details of these intense deliberations and consultations have appeared in the press both at home and abroad.

As this went on, Museveni’s intelligence picked it. Free Uganda has since come to learn that what bothered Mr Museveni most was that General Sejusa and his Free Uganda liberation platform were building serious capacity aimed at using all means necessary to force themselves back home and free Uganda from decades of misrule. Free Uganda, and General Sejusa in particular, had made it known to all that if they were not allowed to enter Uganda via a peaceful route , then they reserved the right to apply the relevant constitutional provisions which permitted citizens to do all that is necessary to achieve freedom.

Hence, sometime towards the end of November 2014, two young people were dispatched to London by Mr Museveni to warn Gen Sejusa against using violence to force his return. This came to the knowledge of Gen Sejusa who briefed Free Uganda executive members. The two young people were Ms Janet Anyine and Mr Michael Katungi. The message they carried was simple. Mr Museveni said that he had heard that General Sejusa wanted to return. Through his emissaries he stated: “But we hear you are mobilizing the youth to force your entry.” According to the two young people Museveni is reported to have used this expression" ngu noyenda kutoya". Meaning Sejusa wanted to try the Burkina Faso way.

His message was only one: We shall not block or harass you. Return home without any conditions.”

Free Uganda considered this message and, on balance, decided to take the risk. Instead of the organization using forceful entry using violence at the airport and elsewhere, as had been planned, the organization chose to take up Museveni’s “no-conditions-attached” offer. This decision by Free Uganda was against the background of the government having given this type of assurance to other people also.

But before meeting Anyine and Katungi, once again a written message was sent to Dr Besigye and a few others informing them of this development. They were informed that Mr Museveni had sent two people with the sole message that General Sejusa can return home without any hindrance and need not resort to violence as they understood he was planning to do. And that if he chose violence then the government had no choice but to deploy heavily again, like it did when the General first went to London and attempted to return in 2013.

This is the written reply of Dr Besigye, " Hi ndugu....that is a positive development. cheers".

There are other areas we do not want to go into. But for the sake of putting the record straight, Free Uganda requests all Ugandans to now move forward and ignore these diversions.

These in summary are the facts surrounding the much publicized homecoming of Free Uganda and its Chairman, General David Sejusa.

As Ugandans will realize, General Sejusa has now applied for retirement from the army, in order that he may continue to participate in the on-going struggles of the people of Uganda for political transformation.

The journey to a free and better Uganda is one that should be freely joined by all patriotic citizens, as well as all well-meaning friends of Uganda, without any harassment or impediment by the state. It is the constitutional right of all Ugandan citizens to partake in the political processes  of their Motherland without fearing that they will be persecuted or dehumanized by those in power. Free Uganda seeks to provide guidance, leadership and empowerment to the people of Uganda so that they can seize the moment and free their country from decades-long bad governance and misrule. It is for this noble purpose that Free Uganda has relocated to Uganda from the lands far away.

 

The author is secretary Free Uganda Leadership Committee and Press Secretary FU 

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