Sejusa refuses to take Museveni’s phone call

Sunday January 4 2015

 

By IVAN OKUDA

Kampala.

Gen David Sejusa, who is now under military confinement at his home, on Friday refused to talk to President Museveni on telephone and asked the President’s emissary, who had been sent to his house to leave immediately.

When the female State House aide entered Sejusa’s house, she informed him that the President wanted to speak to him on a mobile phone she was holding. She then told Sejusa that she would call State House and he should prepare to talk to the President on phone. But Sejusa flatly rejected the proposal, according to a source close to the Sejusa-Museveni proceedings.

“Go back with your phone and tell Museveni I cannot talk to him unless he retires me. He has retired himself, he retired his brother (Salim Saleh), Mugisha Muntu, Matayo Kyaligonza and so many others. Why doesn’t he let me retire?” Sejusa charged at the emissary, according to the source.

The President’s female aide, whose names the source refused to reveal for security reasons, looked on in shock. As the aide, who was chauffeured in a tinted car with a State House number plate, urged Sejusa to “be courteous for once and talk to Mzee,” describing the President as Sejusa’s, “friend and brother in the struggle.”

Sejusa, visibly angrier according to the source, took a deep breath and shot back: “I have said I cannot talk to him unless I am a civilian.”

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After the pause, Sejusa stared her in the face and continued: “If I talk to him now, I will be saying yes, yes. I cannot argue with him yet we have issues to resolve. You want me to be charged with insubordination for challenging the Commander-in-Chief?”

At this point, the aide put the phone back into her bag. “I will return the message to Mzee,” she saluted Gen Sejusa and left.

Gen Sejusa slammed his gate door shut and returned inside his house as the President’s aide drove away.
‘Should have been military’

When contacted for a comment, Ms Linda Nabusayi, the president’s deputy press secretary said she was not aware of the State House aide’s visit to Sejusa’s home. “I don’t know about that incident, those are army issues. But if anyone was sent, it should have been someone from the military. Talk to Lt Col Paddy Ankunda (army spokesman),” Nabusayi said.

Earlier at 4:30pm, a scuffle had ensued at Sejusa’s home in Naguru, a Kampala suburb, when Dr David Mushabe, one of Sejusa’s lawyers sought to meet him. The lawyer was turned away by military police who said they did not know him.

There are about 35 armed Military Police officers inside Gen Sejusa’s compound and 20 outside. By yesterday, a police truck had been added to beef up the security.

“I asked them whom I should contact and they said I should talk to the Military Police chief. I called the colonel and he asked for time to consult. Then he said I should call Mbuya Military Barracks (army headquarters),” Mushabe told Sunday Monitor.

“I asked him whom to speak to exactly but he was reluctant but after much pressing, he said I ought to speak to the Chief of Defence Forces [Gen Katumba Wamala].”

Mr Mushabe said Gen Katumba too declined to talk to him, saying he was uncomfortable dealing with people he was not familiar with. Gen Katumba then asked the lawyer to tell Sejusa to officially write to him and introduce his legal team to the army and that the UPDF leadership would discuss the matter.

Gen Sejusa this week addressed a news conference in which he claimed the army was in advanced stages of arresting him and his detention facility was undergoing renovation.

General’s legal team
Mr Mushabe said he contacted Sejusa and updated him on Katumba’s instructions. He said Sejusa wrote a letter to Gen Katumba introducing Ladislaus Kiiza Rwakafuuzi, Caleb Alaka, Michael Mabikke and Dr David Mushabe as his lawyers.

“Gen Wamala asked me to tell my client to hand the letter to one of the officers but I told him the officer may delay and requested that Sejusa gives me the letter so I deliver to him myself and he agreed,” Mushabe told Sunday Monitor.

After writing the letter, Sejusa came out of the house to hand it over, but a Major confiscated it saying, “Afande, we have no instructions to let you hand over that letter.” The Major grabbed the letter from Sejusa and ordered him to retreat to his house where his family, peeping from windows, followed the proceedings.

“His [Sejusa’s] attitude is that these are junior officers working on orders. He has nothing personal against them. It appears they are playing a game because they keep referring to orders from above,” Mushabe told Sunday Monitor.

Gen Elly Tumwine arrived at the scene and had a brief meeting with Sejusa and his lawyers. Later Tumwine left and said he was taking the message of their meeting to the President.

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