GEN. SSEJJUSA TROUBLES: Tinye Aide Cpt. Patrick Ssemujju’s Arrest Over Coup Portends Bigger Trouble For Loose-talking Coordinator of Security Agencies as Army Commander rules Him out of Order
By Stephen K. Muwambi 7th, May 2013
The arrest of Gen David Ssejjusa aka Tinyefuuza’s aide, Cpt Patrick Ssemujju for plotting a coup could be a good ground for the irritated security to lay hands on his boss, the coordinator of the Security agencies who, has lately developed a belligerent attitude towards his Commander-in-Chief Gen Yoweri Museveni, the First Son Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba and Police Chief Lt Gen Kale Kayihura.
Ssemujju was arrested on Saturday, after security got wind of news of his recruitment of deserters into rebellion with a view to upset government. Following his arrest, security pundits have intimated that Tinyefuuza could be the next big fish to suffer his errand boy Ssemujju’s predicament.
They base their reasoning on the fact that Tinyefuuza has been so stubborn and troublesome for quite some time, making the arrest of his aide Ssemujju on rebellion related charges, a good excuse to pick him up, arraign him before the court-martial so that he could be put away for some good time to tame him.
It should be remembered that Tinyefuuza has penned several missives to the local opposition leaning daily, where he talked of the creeping lawlessness, insensitiveness and impunity by government high ranking officials, which he claimed, was good recipe for public revolt.
‘The commander-in-chief has always been categorical that soldiers especially high ranking ones such as Tinyefuuza, should never use newspapers to criticize the establishment or the army leadership, but Tinyefuuza has been doing it with much restraint from the army,” a security pundit argued while they tried to build a case for Tinyefuuza’s impending arrest.
It should be remembered that Tinyefuuza got into trouble in the past with the army leadership especially his boss Gen Museveni, when he authored a missive where he rebuked the army for taking ages to defeat a ragtag Kony rebel outfit.
“It’s embarrassing for a whole Commander-In-Chief to be seen in trenches trying to fight ragtag rebels. We should all pack up if we cannot defeat Kony’s rag tag rebels,” Tinyefuuza said then, drawing the ire of President Museveni who demanded his appearance at the Court-martial for using the wrong forum to address critical combat matters.
Cornered, Tinyefuuza would engage government in a long winded and legalistic court battle, claiming he could not be court-martialed because he “became a civilian after the commander-in-chief appointed” him presidential advisor at the time”. Accordingly, Tinyefuuza demanded of court to let him leave the army, which he had argued he was no longer a member in the first place.
Tinyefuuza grimed from ear to ear when he defeated government (read his commander-in-chief Museveni) in the first round with the constitutional court ruling that his appointment as Presidential Advisor meant he had left the army for another office.
Aware the ruling would cause trouble for the army in future, by army officials appointed to civilian offices, claiming they were no longer part of the army, the commander-in-chief launched an appeal, assigning his confidant Amama Mbabazi to make sure Tinyefuuza’s triumph was overturned by the Supreme Court as it happened at the end of the day.
Defeated and alert to the dangers he faced by his rebellious attitude, Tinyefuuza accepted to be rehabilitated and returned to the army where he was elevated to his current bigger office of Coordinator of Security Agencies.
“Tinyefuuza has learnt and forgotten nothing otherwise he would remember the problems he went through when he attempted to size up to his larger than life army commander-in-chief. He will definitely have to pay sooner than later. The arrest of his aide comes as a God-sent chance for his superiors whom he has embarrassed for a long time to rein into his stubbornness,” a keen observer of security matters detected.
That Tinyefunza has lately tried to embarrass government by claiming that Muhoozi stage-managed the attack on Mbuya barracks to show there was rebellion has not helped matters.
So irritating Tinyefuuza’s claim it prompted the rather reserved and his good friend who helped prevail over his brother to welcome back Tinyefuuza into the army without subjecting him to the court martial, noted it was absurd if Tinyefuuza made those outrageous claims.
Who is Ssemujju?
Ssemujju attended St Charles Kasasa for his secondary instruction, where he served as head boy. At the school, he was such a devout catholic which led his fellow students, teachers and priests to conclude he would end up in Seminary and become a priest in future.
His contemporaries at Kasasa, teachers and priests, who had witnessed an uncompromising practicing catholic, were shocked later when Ssemujju dumped his childhood dream of priesthood for the army of all professions.
Ssemujju is a party animal. He loves his bottle with a passion. He is also a gambling fanatic. He hangs out at Tay Mahal Casino next to Guvnor where he is reputed as among the last person to leave the baccarat table deep in the night.
Now that Ssemujju has been arrested for recruiting deserters, security pundits pondered the question, “Could it be that Tinyefuuza talked of Muhoozi stage-managing the Mbuya attack, to preempt the case of a coup attempt by his aide. Is it not curious that Ssemujju is arrested for recruiting army deserters at a time that there are many who have indeed absconded from the army,” our security source summed.
Indeed, as we penned off this story, the Army Commander Gen Aronda Nyakairima sent in a press release. Below is his full, unedited statement.
GEN SEJUSA OUT OF ORDER SAYS UPDF
Following statements attributed to Gen Sejusa a.k.a David Tinyefuuza in the Daily Monitor newspaper of 7th May 2013, I wish to put the record straight as follows:
In his document he claims that through the Director General Internal Security Organization (DGISO) he delivered a message to H.E The President in which he highlighted Intelligence concerns about likely consequences of what the public has dubbed the “Muhoozi project”.
In the document he states that the issue is becoming divisive and creating fertile ground for causing intrigue especially in the UPDF. The General further states that the so called “Mbuya Barracks attack” was conducted by some senior officers in the UPDF.
As the Chief of Defence Forces of the UPDF, I am not aware of such concerns neither does the Intelligence Community. The statement therefore is not only false but misleading. First of all it is out of procedure for the Coordinator of Intelligence to communicate to his appointing authority who is the President and Commander-In-Chief through his subordinate.
I wish to point out that obviously with such a statement the author is operating outside the law, and his statements are aimed at tarnishing the good image of the UPDF and create the impression that it is not cohesive which is totally false.
Similar arguments have in the recent past been raised by some members of the radical political opposition and in particular Dr. Kiiza Besigye with clear intention to divide the UPDF.
The President and the Commander- In - Chief has had the occasion to give a clear response to those falsehoods and educate the public about the historical role of the Special Forces in UPDF.
Given that Gen Sejusa is a serving officer of the UPDF he should be aware that all officers and militants of UPDF are subject to military law. They are also bound to be faithful to and bear true allegiance to the President by virtue of the Oath of Allegiance they take which is in the Fifth Schedule to the UPDF Act. The statement he allegedly issued therefore not only contravenes the law but also contradicts that of President issued to the media earlier.
The code of conduct as clearly stated in the UPDF Act of 2005 requires proper authorization before a member of the Defence Forces makes public statements to journalists. That authorization must always be expressly sought and obtained and cannot be implied from any circumstances. Some officers like Gen Sejusa have on different occasions given a wrong impression to the general public that they are exempted from seeking authorization before making public statements. This is wrong. The General being a senior member of the UPDF should have sought to address his concerns in the right forum including the High Command to which he is a member.
The UPDF takes exception to the fact that the spirit of the General ‘s letter simply champions the agenda of the radical and anarchic political opposition hence rendering him partisan contrary to Article 208 of the Constitution of Uganda.
I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the general public that the UPDF is a cohesive, effective, efficient and pro-people Force. The UPDF shall also remain loyal to the people, the Commander- in -Chief and the Constitution of Uganda.
Finally I would like to warn any serving officer who goes against the law that he or she will be dealt with accordingly.
ARONDA NYAKAIRIMA cgsc (MP)
CHIEF OF DEFENCE FORCES