The British government has for the first time spoken out about controversies surrounding Uganda’s Coordinator of Intelligence Agencies, Gen. David Sejusa a.k.a. Tinyefuza, dismissing reports that he was in the UK.
Gen. Sejusa has variously been reported to be in London, and seeking asylum in the United Kingdom, after an April 29 letter in which he alleges a plot to eliminate him and other top military officials for opposing President Museveni’s presumed succession plan leaked, causing national uproar.
In the correspondence to Ronnie Balya, the director-general of Internal Security Organisation, the General called for formal inquiries into information he received that individuals against alleged plans for Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, commander of the Special Forces, to take over from his father President Museveni, were being targeted for assassination.
Government, dismissing the existence of any such project, shut down operations of The Monitor and Red Pepper Publications for 11 days under the pretext that the two media houses were “crime scenes”, and detectives had to occupy them to retrieve Gen. Sejusa’s letter and related documents which the newspapers based on to publish their stories.
In a response to our email enquiries, the British High Commission in Kampala said their government was not aware where Uganda’s chief spymaster was, and that they have “read with interest the recent reporting” about him.
“We are unaware of General Sejusa’s whereabouts, and unfortunately therefore, I am unable to answer your questions [about his reported attempts to seek asylum in the UK,” the Political and Press Officer Chris Ward wrote on Thursday. He would not confirm if Gen. Sejusa, whom some government officials have hinted is wanted for questioning for apparent involvement in subversive activities, ever travelled to the UK.
However, Mr Joseph Luzige, Gen. Sejusa’s lawyer, insisted that he is in the UK but could not comment in UK government statement. “You can only quote me that he is in the UK, that is the gospel truth. I cannot speak about or comment on any statements from the UK government about my client’s whereabouts, what I know and can confirm is that he is in the UK,” Mr Luzige said.
The largely state-owned New Vision, quoting unnamed security sources, recently reported that the UK government has on request placed Sejusa under tighter police protection for his own safety. No journalist has since last month spoken directly with the general who has been communicating mostly through Kampala lawyer Joseph Luzige and or corresponding by email.
Meanwhile, the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) has taken over investigations into Gen. Sejusa’s allegations, Sunday Monitor can reveal. According to our sources, the file was handed over by Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura to CMI chief Brig. Charles Bakahumura on Friday at police headquarters in Kampala.
Defence and Army spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Akunda confirmed the move. “CMI is going to take the lead in all military-related matters while the police is going to continue with any civil related issues,” he told Sunday Monitor on Saturday morning. Police too confirmed the development when contacted. “We have basically handed over everything,” said a senior police official involved in the investigations.
He refused to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Asked why the file was given to the army, the official said: “Because basically it falls under the court martial. For us we were only assisting in gathering evidence, the rest belongs to the army.”
The move means Gen. Sejusa will most likely face a military trail should he return to the country anytime.
Gen. Kayihura did not answer his phone and did not return the calls to this newspaper when contacted on Saturday.
There are conflicting reports on why the police had to turn the file over to the CMI. Some accounts claim the decision was part of the outcome of the army high command meeting on May 21 and May 22 after the police had raided and closed media houses.
In another development, the Sunday Monitor has established that contrary to reports that Brig. Sam Wasswa Balikalege had been named as acting Coordinator of Intelligence Agencies, our sources say the role has been placed in the hands of Security Minister Muruli Mukasa.