Major Twaha M Mukiibi, the External Coordinator of Free Uganda liberation platform has issued this statement primarily targeting Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF).
The major who is a tested liberation fighter, having been a commander in one of the liberation groups that fought in the Luweero Bush war, rallies UPDF accusing President Yoweri Museveni also their commander-in-chief of violating all the principles and aims of the Luweero Bush War.
“So the UPDF must now join the Peoples Struggle and not support a man who is not a democrat and who is instead arresting political opponents, torturing and killing innocent citizens, etc.”
The statement comes after the arrest and detention at Makindye military barracks of former coordinator of intelligence services, Gen David Sejusa.
Below is the full statement by Major Twaha M Mukiibi, the Special Coordinator of Free Uganda.
The arrest and detention of Gen. David Sejusa the chairman of Free Uganda must act as a wakeup call for the men and women in uniform If those who went to the bush intended to fight for the re-establishment of democratic rule in Uganda. If you went to fight for the protection of free speech. If you went to the bush for the purpose of defending the country against any form of dictatorial rule, then what took you to the bush has never been achieved.
The bush war was triggered by Dr Milton Obote’s rigging of the 1980 elections. At that time it took a few men to mobilise what turned out to be a protracted guerrilla war against the UPC regime of Dr Obote.
Amongst those who were the pioneers of the war against Obote was Gen. David Sejusa formally known as Tinyefunza. Before joining the guerrilla war, Gen. Sejusa was working as a police officer in the Uganda police.
As a serving police officer David Sejusa was not deterred from joining the struggle for his country’s national democratic salvation just because he would be braking the law. He went and committed himself to the struggle against Obote’s misrule. That was 36 years ago.
The Sejusa of that time had the determination of fighting against dictatorship and the Sejusa of today still has the same commitment of protecting his beloved country against a repressive dictatorial regime that is determined to keep itself in power by rigging the 18th February elections.
Being part of the so called 27 men who initiated the NRA (National Resistance Army) Gen. Sejusa has a right to question what the leadership of the NRM is trying to do to the country he loves, the country he fought for, the country he lost ‘Part of His Leg’ for.
As a principled Ugandan, Gen. Sejusa does not want to see our country being dragged further back to the days of Dr Obote or the days of Gen. Idi Amin.
Museveni want to muzzle Gen. Sejusa because Sejusa is the only freedom fighter within the UPDF who has proved that he is not a PLASTIC General like many who are clearly aware that our country is being mislead but have decided to hide behind their fake ranks. I call them ‘Fake’ because those who hold and wear them hold no power at all. We know that within the UPDF the power is concentrated in the hands of Museveni, his brother Salim Saleh and his son Brigadier MuhoOzi Kainerugaba.
These other Generals’ like Kahinda Otafire, Elly Tumwiine, Wamala Katumba, Charles Angina, Ivan Koreta, David Muhoozi, Robert Rusoke, Fredrick Mugisha, and others seem to have no resolve to defend what we all sacrificed our lives for during that guerrilla war. Their silence about what is going on in the country is a clear sign of collusion in the on going dictatorial tendencies of Museveni.
Free Uganda understands that many in the UPDF are not happy with the way Museveni has deviated from the principles that took them to the bush. However, their impotence will continue as long as they continue to accept their current status quo. A status where Generals’ have to be submissive to a Brigadier just because he happens to be the president’s son.
This is what Gen. Sejusa the chairman of Free Uganda is trying to show these other generals. That our country needs them to wake up. That the citizens of Uganda want them to join Gen. Sejusa in the effort to liberate Uganda from dictatorship.
When the men of the guns went to the bush in 1980 to fight Obote’s election rigging they appealed to the civilian population of Uganda to join and support the struggle.
In 2016, the civilian population of Uganda as they prepare for the February 18th elections calls upon the men in uniform to join them in a peaceful transition of power from the NRM dictatorship to a democratically elected government of national unity.
As the power to change the democratic system of our country lies in the hands of the Ugandan voters, the power to change the status of the UPDF officers and men lies in the hands of the men and women of the UPDF by standing hand in hand with the civilian population of Uganda by rejecting to be used by Museveni against the people.
When the Arab Spring arrived in Egypt and the people came out on the streets to reject Mubaraka’s dictatorship, the Egyptian army didn’t interfere. The Egyptian army sided with the people. In Tunisia the army sided with the people. So it makes sense to expect and advise the UPDF to side with the people.
The people of Uganda want to assure the UPDF that they must have nothing to fear as democratically voting out the NRM doesn’t mean voting out the UPDF. The people of Uganda appeal to the men and women of the UPDF to support Gen. Sejusa in his bid to protect Uganda’s democracy.
The February 18th election is not a liberation for the civilian population only, it a liberation that will also free the men and women of the UPDF and give them a proper sense of pride as their individual achievements will begin to be respected in the actual sense.
Free Uganda understands the unhappiness of many officers who are marginalised by certain characters within the UPDF who are below their ranks just because they belong to a certain clique.
This is what General Sejusa is fighting against. To protect the people’s votes, to protect the army’s integrity. To protect the country’s future political stability. To protect what he fought for – what he lost part of his leg for.
Gen. Sejusa will rather die than compromising his democratic principles by not keeping quiet and let the dictator rig the February 18th elections and get away with it.
That is why he informed the world that he (Gen. Sejusa) will lead the masses in a civil disobedience if and when Museveni rigs or attempts to rig the elections.
Now that Museveni has reacted naively by arresting Gen. Sejusa the ball is now in the People of Uganda’s court. Gen. Sejusa’s intentions is to protect the people’s votes. To protect the people’s right to democratically chose the president of their choice. If Museveni sees this as a crime, then it is now the duty and responsibility of every Ugandan to FREE Gen. David Sejusa from wherever Museveni is keeping him.
At this moment, Free Uganda would like to advise the government of Uganda to release Gen. David Sejusa immediately and refrain from any future harassment of him.
Free Uganda also appeals to the people of Uganda to stay calm and concentrate on their preparations of voting for change. However, the people of Uganda must not forget to prepare themselves for the liberation of Gen. David Sejusa.
If Museveni thinks that by detaining Gen. Sejusa will stop the masses from coming out on the streets to demonstrate against vote rigging then he must think again as the people who he is witnessing flocking willingly in their droves to attend Dr Besigye’s campaign rallies will in turn come out on the streets of every district to demand for justice. They will demand their victory. They will demand the release of Gen. Sejusa and will not back down until he is freed.
The struggle for the political liberation of our country continues unabated with or without our chairman Gen. David Sejusa.