Thursday, December 18, 2014
A Vote of Thanks to President Museveni
By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
Credit should always be given where it is due. I therefore, wish to thank the President of the Republic of Uganda, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for instituting and presiding over a largely humane and law abiding regime in the country.
One and a half years ago, General David Sejusa a.k.a Tinyefuza found himself in exile in London, the United Kingdom. General Sejusa is a maverick four star army general in Uganda, who has held many senior posts in President Museveni’s government, including presidential adviser, Coordinator of Intelligence Agencies and Member of Parliament representing the army – positions that he held by the time he left the country. We may never know for sure under what circumstances the General ended up in exile – for government says that he imposed it upon himself, having left voluntarily; yet he insists that the decision was forced upon him, after heavy deployment of the army at Entebbe airport on the day of his scheduled return on official duties – but what we know for sure is that General Sejusa was in some sort of exile, which is not nice at all, in this modern day and age.
While in exile, General Sejusa made many stinging revelations and uttered several uncharitable remarks against the person of the President, his family and government, including advocating armed rebellion to overthrow them. Personally I found these remarks very shocking especially, considering that they were coming from a hitherto blue-eyed boy of the President. His remarks were so alarming and frightening that had this been say, nearby Rwanda under Mr Paul Kagame, General Sejusa would have been quickly eliminated in the most shameful, brutal and barbaric manner. Then Mr Kagame would have come out publicly chest-thumping and boasting like a petty village bully, hurling even more insults like he did on the murder and attempted murder of his former army officers, Generals Kalegeya and Kayumba Nyamwasa respectively, calling them dogs that deserved to die. You may recall that in around 2012, the British government formally wrote in protest to the Rwandan government asking it to stop the habit of following exiles with the view of killing them. Then this year, the South African government also officially complained against the Rwandan government for the same reasons, sparking off a diplomatic row between the two, involving mutual expulsion of diplomatic staff, with Mr Kagame’s government setting it off.
Fortunately, on Sunday, 14 December, 2014, at 3:00 AM in the norning, General Sejusa came back safely to his home in Uganda (maintaining that President Museveni must relinquish power). The government has warmly welcomed him and promised to ensure his safety. This is incredible, if you ask me. Thank you very much, President Museveni and your government, for this level of sanity, particularly in a country that had once stooped so low that human life was utterly meaningless and, it goes without saying, valueless. Now, I am aware that many people have downplayed the significance of this, calling it politics, a joke or favouritism; and that the whole exile thing was President Museveni’s intelligence gathering project with his spy chief General Sejusa. Well, be that as it may. My point today is that, it is important that we concede certain facts and truths: the Museveni regime in Uganda is not murderous like some before it or contemporary ones in other parts of the world. I am therefore, saying that we should be appreciative of that level of humanity and accommodation. Certainly this makes a lot of sense in light of our chequered political history.
While commenting on General Sejusa's return, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, called upon all Ugandans in exile to use this example and come back home. I would like to join him in this endeavour and also urge all our citizens who are forcefully living in foreign lands, including my friend Colonel Mande Samson, to come back to their country and contribute to its development; of course, trusting and believing that President Museveni and his government will do everything in their power to ensure the returnees’ well-being, such as has been promised of General Sejusa.