Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Uganda: Museveni's monarchy ?

BBC reports

Uganda's David Sejusa: 'Oppose Museveni's monarchy'

                                    General David Sejusa: "All options are open... to remove Museveni"

Renegade Ugandan army General David Sejusa has accused President Yoweri Museveni of creating a "political monarchy" to hang on to power.

In his first interview since he fled to the UK last month, the four-star general told the BBC that Mr Museveni's plans should be opposed.

Gen Sejusa fled after claiming that Mr Museveni was grooming his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba to succeed him.

The government has repeatedly denied any such plan.

Mr Museveni has been in power since 1986, and elections are due in 2016.

The BBC's Will Ross wrote in 2011.

I was looking for a copy of the book, What Is Africa's Problem?
In it, the author says, back in 1986: "The problem of Africa in general and Uganda in particular is not the people but leaders who want to overstay in power."
And who wrote it? The current president, Yoweri Museveni, who has been in the job for 25 years.

'Playing God'

The security forces last month raided the offices of two newspapers which published a confidential letter by Gen Sejusa, calling for an investigation into allegations of a plot "to assassinate people who disagree with this so-called family project of holding onto power in perpetuity".

Democracies don't close down newspapers for doing their job. 

Gen Sejusa told BBC Focus on Africa that Mr Museveni was ruling over a "decadent system" and "playing God" in Uganda.

"Who gave Mr Museveni the right to rule over us forever?" he asked.

Gen Sejusa said Brig Kainerugaba represented a "national project of Mr Museveni to subvert the existing political system in order to perpetuate himself".

"The central issue is a political monarchy - a life presidency and then transiting [to] a political monarchy," he added.

"It is a terribly common African story. There is nothing strange about it."

More from the BBC's Will Ross.

In a Kampala restaurant I met George Kanyeihamba. He was a minister and attorney general when President Museveni came to power in 1986.
He retired from life as a Supreme Court judge last year and is extremely worried about where Uganda is headed.
He suggested the very issues of injustice that led to Yoweri Museveni taking up arms were coming back.
I asked him to compare the Museveni he knew then and the man now.
"They are two different people," he said.
"Some Ugandans have said that if the Yoweri Museveni of 1986 were to meet the Museveni of today they would fight on sight - they would shoot each other."

Pressed to rule out suggestions that he harboured presidential ambitions, Gen Sejusa said: "Why should I? A four-star general without ambitions - he might be in a wrong place."

That is a fairly clear statement of intent.

Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo denied there was any "project" that would lead to Brig Kainerugaba succeeding Mr Museveni.

I actually tend to believe this. Museveni has no constitutional barriers to prevent him running for the Presidency in 2016. The Crocodiles of Africa seem to view the position of the President as a life long appointment. That is until they are overthrown.

He told Focus on Africa that Gen Sejusa had never raised his concerns within the government, even though he served in the military high command and was an MP representing the army in parliament.

Mr Opondo denied Gen Sejusa would be arrested if he returned to Uganda.

"He's a free man to return, if he's not a coward," Mr Opondo said.

However, the government would "deal" with Gen Sejusa if he resorted to unconstitutional means to oppose the government, he added.

Gen Sejusa told the BBC the constitution gave people the right to "use all means necessary.... including, by the way, armed struggle" to resist a leader who subverted democracy.

I suspect threatening a civil war will not endear the General at this point.

Hat Tip: Rosebell Idaltu Kagumire on Facebook.

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