NRM historicals split on ‘ Muhoozi Project’

Brig. Muhoozi (L) and members of the Special Forces in Kampala recently. File photo

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The group, of mainly fighters and political leaders that brought the NRM government to power, have chosen silence, while others are playing safe with their stand.

As the debate on an alleged “ Muhoozi Project” gets more polarising, a critical section of National Resistance Army/Movement (NRA/M) seniors is keeping its distance.

The group of mainly fighters and political leaders that brought the government to power after the 1981-86 bush war commonly known as “historicals” are choosing silence than to wade into the murky waters.

Sejusa’s letter
Coordinator of Intelligence Agencies, Gen. David Sejusa formerly Tinyefuza, stoked the fires after he wrote a letter to the Director General of Internal Security Organisation (ISO) calling for an investigation into allegations that certain individuals opposed to an alleged “Project Muhoozi” had been targeted for assassination.

Gen Sejusa was still reported to be out of the country on Friday as rumours intensified that he faces arrest upon return.
Maj. Gen. (rtd) Kahinda Otafiire said the matter was between “Museveni and Tinyefuza,” while Maj. Gen. Pecos Kutesa, the director of doctrine in the UPDF, said he was “not an authority to talk about Museveni and Muhoozi”.

In his letter, Gen. Sejusa talked of a plan by President Museveni and a small circle of close family to install Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, currently head of the Special Forces Command, to succeed him as President. Some historicals said they could not discuss such a sensitive issue on phone while others held that such talk is still “speculative”, arguing that Mr Museveni and Brig. Muhoozi, the two principals in the eye of the storm, should first publicly pronounce themselves on the issue-to set ground for informed debate.

Maj. Gen. Kutesa, said questions about the “Project Muhoozi” should be put to the “President or whoever is saying it”.
“I am not an authority to talk about Museveni and Muhoozi. Until they say it in public, I do not know what is in their brains,” Maj.Gen. Kutesa said.

Maj.Gen (rtd) Jim Muhwezi, another bush war compatriot who now represents the historicals on the ruling party’s Central Executive Committee, said he is not interested in the issues raised by Gen. Sejusa.

‘Speculative things’
“I do not comment on speculative things that am not sure of; that is not my character. By the time I come up with a comment, I must hold a view which I want to discuss. Right now, there has not been a discussion about it on the forums which am part of like the Movement,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Otafiire, said he did not want to be dragged into an issue that is “between Museveni and Tinyefuza”
“Ask Museveni or Tinyefuza. You should not involve me in things that I am not involved in,” he said.

Maj. (rtd) John Kazoora, a former deputy director general at the Internal Security Organisation and now Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) secretary for defence, warned that the claims raised by Gen. Sejusa should be investigated, as demanded by the general.

“He is not a fool. By the time a whole coordinator of Intelligence services comes out with such a complaint, it cannot be taken lightly and the country should be allowed to debate what he has raised and if they find that there is merit, it is handled accordingly. It has raised a lot of anxiety and even arresting him will not stop it.” Maj Kazoora said.

Gen. Elly Tuwiine asked that Gen. Sejusa should be given a hearing.
On Friday, former army commander and now president of the opposition FDC party Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu – who also fought in the bush war – said the issues Gen. Sejusa raised in his letter to the ISO director are not new and would not have arisen had President Museveni listened to calls for political reforms.