Former intelligence chief and outspoken critic of Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni was Tuesdaycharged in court as tensions mount ahead of a presidential poll next month.
General David Sejusa, 61, was charged in the Kampala base military court with absence without leave as the first count and also participating in political party activities contrary to UPDF Act.
Court chaired by Maj Gen. Levi Karuhanga heard that Gen Sejusa in April 2013 while a representative of Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) in parliament was given permission of absence for three weeks but upon expiry of the said leave, he did not return to the August House.
On 14th April 2015, General Sejusa following a closed-door meeting at the DP headquarters in Kampala with DP National Executive Committee (NEC) led by DP national chairman Baswale Kezaala and acting president Mathias Nsubuga said he was willing to work with the party.
Sejusa also urged Opposition political parties to boycott the 2016 polls if the electoral reforms they demanded were not implemented.
“This time, the message for change must be different. If these issues (reforms) are not resolved, we shall not have elections,” he said, adding that, “There is a need for capacity building especially in political parties.”
“These are the issues which must be discussed and resolved. What we do is always defined by the results,” Gen Sejusa is quoted saying.
After reading for him the charges, Sejusa said he would not take plea.
“I’m hearing these charges for the first time,” he said.
Sejusa reminded court that he has been detained in a “dungeon” Cell 4, the same that Amin detained him in 1976.
“I have been in jail for three days. The army had an opportunity to give me a charge sheet but they just scribbled it 15 minutes ago.”
Sejusa’s lawyers first objected to the jurisdiction of court saying their client was constructively retired by the army.
The lawyers argued that by not paying his emoluments, withdrawing of his guns and uniform and not deploying him, the army retired Sejusa constructively.
“Our client applied for retirement which after 90 days was not responded to. His arrest, on the other hand, was a reply perhaps.”
The lawyers argued that until High Court pronounces itself on whether Sejusa is still a serving army officer this court has no jurisdiction on the matter.
Gen Sejusa is also accused of appearing without authorisation on CBS radio on April 22, 2015.
Gen. Sejusa is also charged with insubordination for defying CDF Katumba Wamala’s orders when he attended political rallies in Kabale and Arua.
Sejusa has also been charged with uttering public statements at JEEMA offices, attending Kizza Besigye’s nomination rally on Nov 4, 2015.
He has been remanded to Luzira prison until February 9, 2016 when court will hear the next submissions.