Tuesday February 9 2016

Gen Sejusa denied bail, further remanded

Former Coordinator of Intelligence Services

Former Coordinator of Intelligence Services David Sejusa arrives for the hearing of his bail application at Makindye General Court Martial on Tuesday. Photo by Dominic Bukenya 

By Ephraim Kasozi

Former Coordinator of Intelligence Services David Sejusa alias Tinyefuza has been further remanded to Luzira Maximum Security Prison until February 23 this year for ruling on bail application.
Gen. Sejusa, an outspoken critic of President Yoweri Museveni’s 30-years leadership, through his lawyers asked the Military Court chaired by Maj. Gen. Levi Karuhanga to release him on bail pending trial arguing that he is of advanced age and that the charges are bailable.

Mr Ladislaus Rwakafuzi, one of Gen. Sejusa said that his client wanted to regain his liberty as provided for under the law that he is innocent proved otherwise.
He said that the charges against Gen. Sejusa are political in nature and not grave require him to stay in jail.

“It is in interest of the public because that is a sense of justice,” he said before presenting two sureties; Lord Mayor Mr Erias Lukwago and Dr Deo Kizito Lukyamuzi a surgeon at Case Medical Center.
In the sworn statement before court, Gen Sejusa, 61, said he is of advanced age and cannot handle the harsh conditions of prison life.
“I am the sole breadwinner for my family. I have children attending both university and high school that depend on my support. I have never been arrested, charged, convicted and or have any criminal record of any crime in my entire life whatsoever,” he says.

However, Lead State Prosecutor objected to the application for bail arguing that the accused person would interfere with the investigations and the witnesses.
The General Court Martial at Makindye remanded Gen. Sejusa hours after dismissing his application to stay proceedings against him until the High Court decides on his application seeking for declaration that he was constructively discharged by the employer (government).
Court ruled that it Gen. Sejusa, a senior army officer is subject to military law because there is no order stopping his trial before the Military Court.

According to the court, retirement of an army officer is a duty of the Board; “No discharge certificate to show that he was discharged.”
“In our judgment, this court has competent jurisdiction because no lawful order has been served to this court restraining it proceeding,” Maj. Gen. Karuhanga ruled.
Gen Sejusa had also protested the trial, alleging that the military court has no powers to hear the cases due to a pending application in the civil court.

The outspoken critic of President Museveni who has since filed an application before the High Court seeking for declarations that he was constructively discharged from the army, is charged with five different charges of participating in partisan politics, absconding from duty and insubordination, among others contrary to the military law.
Meanwhile, Gen. Sejusa through his lawyers has vowed to appeal against today's decision by the court martial.

"We instructions to appeal the ruling,” Mr Gideon Munungu another Lawyer for Gen. Sejusa told court.
Prosecution states that on November 4, 2015 when Dr Kizza Besigye was nominated presidential candidate for the FDC party, Gen Sejusa, a senior army officer of the UPDF, attended his maiden rally at Nakivubo stadium, addressed the public and canvassed support for the opposition candidate and party, contrary the Political Parties and Organisations Act.

The State further alleges that on November 22, Gen Sejusa, as a serving UPDF officer while at Democratic Party offices on Luwum Street in Kampala, attended the party activities and canvassed support for DP contrary to the law.
In another case, Gen Sejusa allegedly attended political rallies in Kabale, Arua districts and other places against the warning by the Chief of Defence Forces, which is tantamount to violation of the military law.
It is further alleged that on April 22, 2015, Gen Sejusa, without authorisation from the army, appeared on a talk show on Central Broadcasting Service radio and made political statements contrary to the UPDF code of conduct.