Thought and Ideas
Why Muhoozi should replace Gen Sejusa in Parliament
Posted Sunday, September 29 2013 at 01:00
The most conspicuous part in Gen.David Sejusa’s thespian dramatics has been President Museveni’s quietude. He seems to have learnt from the vanity of his unnecessarily rush response to Col Kizza Besigye in 1999.
Museveni’s silence has been so effective that it has reduced Gen Sejusa to merely issuing provoking statements which are losing media attention by the day.
However, Museveni’s silence has rendered ineffective the UPDF’s PR management of the Sejusa saga. Statements from the UPDF have oscillated from ‘Gen David Sejusa will be charged with treason’ to ‘Gen Sejusa is still Presidential Advisor and Co-ordinator of Security Agencies’.
Cornered by the media, Chief of Defence Forces Gen Katumba Wamala said they would wait until Parliament declares Sejusa’s seat vacant. Hehehe, as if the obtaining circumstances do not warrant an administrative action against Gen Sejusa?
The UPDF doesn’t have to hitch a ride from Parliament to sort the Sejusa saga; the Brig Henry Tumukunde case is a good precedent to guide them.
And poor UPDF, without a shout or a wink from the royal enclosure, cannot trigger off some administrative or command instrument to sort Gen Sejusa.
But this procrastination will end soon. By the end of October (latest December 31), the UPDF will have selected someone to replace Sejusa in Parliament.
The question now is: Who will replace the renegade general? I suggest Brig Muhoozi Keinerugaba; and I guess I need to defend my choice.
In spite of all else, the UPDF is a tri-command Force: The Lands Forces (or the Army), the Air Force and the Special Forces. Marine security, which should have constituted another command structure, was left to the police. But if it were up to me, I would shift marine security to the Special Forces.
The current UPDF MPs seem to have been selected symmetrically to represent Operational Command, Historical Command and Administration.
Operational Command had CDF Aronda Nyakairima, Lands Forces Commander Katumba Wamala and Air Force Commander Jim Owoyesigire. Historical Command had David Sejusa, Elly Tumwine and Phenihas Katirima; the rest were from Administration.
For the sake of standardisation, if the commander of the Lands Forces and that of the Air Force were among the 10 UPDF MPs, the commander of the Special Forces should join them. That’s why I propose the name of Brig Muhoozi Keinerugaba, Force Commander of the Special Forces to replace Gen Sejusa.
Of course we are not blind to the fact that both Muhoozi’s parents are MPs. And we are not blind to the likely scenario of an operation in Karamoja where Brig Muhoozi would refer policy matters to the minister responsible for Karamoja and operational and command matters to the Commander-in-Chief. Oyo nde verite (that’s the truth).
With national egalitarian attitudes, French military tradition doesn’t have goose march section in parades. However, most armies in Francophone Africa adopted goose march in the 1970s.
President Mobutu’s Force Armee Zairoise adopted goose march in 1970. They called it Marque Les Pars (mark your steps). With the goose march novelty, Franco Luambo Makiadi produced a song titled Marque Les Pars.
And Les Mangelepa, the name of East Africa’s most successful orchestra (led by Congolese musicians) of the 1970s and 80s, was cut from Marque Les Pars.
In the UPDF, sometimes one may not tell what is a parade or a guard of honour. But we assume Gen Kahinda Otafiire was inspecting a guard of honour when he lost his step. And Point Blank, NTV’s marquee humour show, parodied the ‘talksome’ general.
My French-speaking companion, composing herself after a bout of laughter, only managed this: cette marque les pas. Gen Otafiire, military issues are so important we can’t leave them to the exclusivity of the generals.
Asuman Bisiika is the Executive Editor of East Africa Flagpost.