Today I will talk about and address a recent speech by someone who has stood tall, who has been in trouble and been attacked the by system. This is General David Sejusa aka Tinye aka Tinyefuza. A man who has warned the nation about “Project Muhoozi” and went to exile about it. This week after over two decades waiting for his official retirement. It finally happened and he even held a speech like Nobel. He could have walked out in spite or in anger. The General would have all the reasons to do so. His been violated, cascaded and been maliciously treated for his rebellion.
On the 31st August 2022, the day was finally there for Gen. Sejusa and he held a powerful speech. I will not look into all of it, but only a few titbits of it. He really spells things out, but in a manner of which is to be expected of a man who is held in high regard.
The first paragraphs that caught my eyes was these:
“As it is normally the case many may wonder, the Gen Sejusa who has had runs in with the system and so on, how does he now represent these gallant officers? The answer is simple ; It’s because he belongs to the family and the family never breaks no matter the disagreements. There are four types of family which maybe summarised; The human family; The one of Adam and Eve and I, and the African Family, the Ugandan family and then the biological family under which all of us fall. The UPDF/NRA family falls under the Uganda family. The essence of family as a unit is for the survival of a species or that subject or object and for that family to survive, it must have the capacity to manage and withstand the disagreements and the contradictions within no-matter how fundamental they maybe or they may appear to be” (Sejusa, 31.08.2022).
Here the General is stating a vital point, but it’s like he haven’t seen what has happened to other dissidents. The General of the ages, a man I admire and aspire to his finesse of rebelling from inside. He surely have seen how costly it has been to disagree wit the NRA/NRM over the years. Gen. Sejusa must have seen that… and he must known the practices from the inside too. That’s why the ideals his speaking of is valid and sincere. However, we know damn well the practices towards outsiders and popular dissidents. It was for a reason why he only felt safe going into exile too after deciding to leak “Project Muhoozi”. The General didn’t do that out of nowhere, but because he knew what was waiting him…
Gen. Sejusa continues:
“Freedom fighting is not a simple smooth enterprise where the lion may lie with the lamb as the bible says. It is a terrain that can be bumpy, thorny, deadly, meandering and dangerous. That’s why leaders who take on the role of fighting for freedom of the African peoples need ideological grounding to navigate this difficult terrain. Mr President, I thank you for the years we have been in these wars and nation building to see the strives which have been made. The African survival will depend on the leadership who acquire capacities to manage the difficult bottlenecks and contradictions” (Sejusa, 31.08.2022).
The words here is really compelling too. Gen. Sejusa says this with all of his heart. We know that he has challenged Museveni and his credentials. That’s why he stood by the side of Dr. Kizza Besigye at one point too. Gen. Sejusa knows what cause he fought for and what sort of state the Republic is in now. It is also obvious that he says the freedom fighting isn’t over and has to be fought for to this day. Because, he says there are bottlenecks and possible contradictions. Therefore, Gen. Sejusa states the mission isn’t over and to say that is an assessment of how the President has failed.
He further says:
“I wish to thank the leadership who have since held this country together. It’s not easy for African countries to remain peaceful for 40years. It’s not easy. So it shouldn’t be lost anywhere despite our disagreements. As times change and political differences crop up, we get many revisionists. History must never be altered or rewritten and absolutely I am no revisionist my self. The NRA leadership, the chairman of the high command, Yoweri Museveni who led that war and the commanders who served under him achieved the un-imaginable. It was not easy” (Sejusa, 31.08.2022).
This here statement can be questioned, what sort of peace has there been since 1986? The North was burning for ages after the NRA took-over Kampala. Further, there been several of conflicts and usage of the army in civilian manner ever since. That’s why the peace that has been created is fragile and not really sustainable. The centre only holds because of the army and not only defending the nation against invaders. It is there to attack and intimidate the citizens. That is not revising history, but assessing the realities. The NRM cannot hold without the UPDF. That is a truth and this is why the President invest most into the UPDF. This is his bread-and-butter.
The last part I will quote is this:
“Those still serving the UPDF, the mission to liberate Africa has never been greater and more urgent. So much has been achieved and a lot is yet to be achieved. We have like it is a case everywhere, new challenges, some are existancial; I pray that the leadership God gives it wisdom to navigate these hardships. Therefore continue training, use the opportunities being provided. Make sure that you deepen your ideological horizons. But above all love your Nation and always honour the people of Uganda. They are special people” (Sejusa, 31.08.2022).
Well, the mission of UPDF is this: ”To defend and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda, and the Constitution that encapsulates people’s sovereignty through popular will”. That’s why the liberation of Africa isn’t UPDF mission or the NRA in general. This is just the wording, which comes to play when you want to galvanize and make the causes more vital. While the UPDF is the national army and the army of nation, which makes the purpose to defend the integrity and the borders of the Republic from invaders. The UPDF isn’t there as tool or a means to salvage others. No, that is what leaders and envision other purposes for it.
The latest part of the paragraph is something that all in the UPDF should listen to, because it’s the other reason why they are there in the first place. The UPDF has to serve and love the nation, as they are defending it. That is just obvious, but a very nice sentiment.
Secondly, honour the people, meaning don’t extra judicial kill, torture or be part of the oppressive agenda, which we know the UPDF have been. If the soldiers and the ones serving is listening to Gen. Sejusa than they should actually stop doing this things, because there is no honour in injustice or impunity. Neither is it serving the people, if they are violating their rights and liberties. Therefore, the words matters and the UPDF should really honour the special people of Uganda.
Gen. Sejusa deserve praise and honour for his service. Also, for his defiance and his open rebellion against the state. That’s why the state punished him and didn’t let him retire for so long. This is why I have a soft spot for him. Even if he spoke in such manner towards Museveni yesterday. While I understand why he did it… Peace.