General Sejusa on John Garang, and rigging elections in Kenya and Uganda:
1. Never too late to do the right thing. “It is never too late to do the right thing. I stand here before you not as a saint, for that is not what my purpose is. My purpose is not to proclaim my sainthood but it is to undo the wrong I could have participated in. my second job is to contextualise for Ugandans to know what the real problem is. For defining the problem correctly, is solving the problem half way. I do not think we understand the nature of the problem and the forces that confront us as Ugandans but also as African people.
“That’s the context within which that lady came. And I agree with her. I understand her. I understand her emotions and she is also right. We must confront those issues, look them straight in the face if Uganda is to heal and move forward. There should be nothing to be ashamed about what that lady was talking about. People in the north died. They did. She is not lying. How many, by who, is a matter of detail. We must confront it. This is it. This is it. But also we must know that the deaths in the north and the suffering under NRM was not the beginning of the problems of Uganda, that there is a historical context to it.”
2. Museveni is a representative of a tragic situation. “To heal is to have a broader view of where we’ve come from, where we are. There is nothing short of that. If we do not accept that, then we are in trouble. I personally, my struggle is larger than Mr Museveni’s. It is bigger because Mr Museveni is merely a representative of a tragic situation, is a representative of an experiment that has gone tragically wrong both in Africa and in our country. Museveni is merely a representative. It cannot be an accident that 50 years on after independence, those who got in in the 1950s like Ghana and Sudan and so on, that the African state is in conflict, that African peoples are the poorest in the world, that per capita it’s [Africa] the lowest in the world, that interest rates [in Africa] are the lowest in the world, violence index is the highest in the world, that balkanisation is the highest in the 54 countries of Africa.’
3. Museveni betrayed the cause. “Many people ask: “So what are you bringing that others have not tried?” We are bringing a new force, a new force with a broader appeal, a new force with a broader ideology of knowing that every African person or every Ugandan is a captive of history. We need to be freed. We need to free everyone. We need to free our people from the perception of lack of opportunity in terms of organising and mobilising deficit. Before we reach anywhere else, we need to realise that the problems of Africa; for instance if you look at Africa today and what Museveni has; you see Museveni has been a betrayal for our cause is bigger than what people think. Because [for] my personal story, when I went to the bush I was only 24 and there were something big going on. Uganda was not all rosy.”
4. Northern experiment. “What people don’t understand is that when serving under a bad system you become the biggest victim. They do not realise that some of us, for instance me; I have lived a life more at risk more than maybe people who have been in exile. I have not been sitting down. I tried to remove this system many times. I have scars on my body, bullets, inflicted by my own side. People don’t understand. This northern experiment you’re talking about, I was the first to resign. I opposed this experiment in 1993 during the CA. I opposed the changing of what we had agreed in the bush of ruling for four years and extending Mr Museveni. In 1996 I went further. I exposed Mr Museveni’s problems and atrocities; you can go [and check], you know what happened in parliament, against the atrocities in the north and the prolonging of the northern war by Mr Museveni. I was the first to bring it up.
5. Museveni told Supreme Court to reverse a decision, and they did. “If all that meant I was guilty, I would not have resigned. I even resigned against Mr Museveni. I said [to Museveni] I will not continue. My life was in danger. I almost died. I went to the Supreme Court and won and in the morning Mr Museveni went to the Supreme Court and told them ‘you must reverse’ and he reversed. So I was held captive against my will. When you’re held captive, you’re captive. You either play by the rules or you become an outlaw. Isn’t that what Mandela said?”
6. Removing term limits. “So my regret is that I should have come out earlier on. I have no doubt about it. But what happened then, since we have a constitution and Mr Museveni can abuse us only for so long. In 2005 he changed the constitution. I was in Kimaka Commandant Staff College and I was representing the army in parliament in 2005. We were picked at night, those of us who were there, to go and vote to remove term limits. And those of us who wanted to reject, like somebody called Bogere were virtually under detention and were told we must remove term limits. There was no discussion. We went in a bus and you don’t do anything. The day I stood up and said ‘no’ you see where I am. This is the cost of trying to say ‘no’.
“So it’s not so easy. You either go all the way and say ‘no’ and fight the regime like I am doing, or you play inside and ultimately you’re soiled and you wear that guilt and become part of the system. This is how bad systems destroy our people. And this is how we must free all our people. My call is that all people must be freed by understanding that they are all captive.”
7. Rigging the 2006 presidential elections. “Kizza Besigye won by the way in 2006 – I can as well give you another testimony (laughter and prolonged clapping). In 2006 Besigye won by maybe 69 per cent. Mr Museveni as an incumbent got something like 50 something. By the time an African incumbent gets 50 something you know he has already lost. So it’s not even in debate. But how was it stolen?(laughter and prolonged clapping).
“We organised another electoral commission of intelligence at Basiima House and all results from the electoral commission would pass through our electoral commission and it is our results that we would push through to the [official] electoral commission. How can you win in that type of situation? Yes. I must say it all now because I am a new man (prolonged laughter and clapping). Yes. We did it. Yes (more laughter and clapping from audience).”
8. Rigging elections in Kenya. “So of course it is a waste of time. It is deceiving our people. And Mr Museveni has no democratic credentials – has never had them. I was with him in the bush. I have been with him all along. I have told you through all my history. I have stood up to these undemocratic tendencies. You hear some of our neighbours are in the ICC (International Criminal Court). Mr Museveni should go to the ICC like [Charles] Taylor (former President of Liberia). You know Taylor went to the ICC because of his role in Sierra Leone. So he (Museveni) participated in that work in Kenya. That’s why the people of Kenya uprooted the rail lines going to Uganda. Parts of Nairobi, Kibera and Kisumu. They knew that Uganda played a part. It shouldn’t be Mr Ruto (Kenya’s deputy president) alone, Mr Museveni should go [to The Hague]. (Someone in the audience asks what about the role Museveni played in the Democratic Republic of Congo) Right now Uganda has to pay US$10 billion to the Congo government for him (Museveni) and his family stealing gold and timber of Congo and diamonds, and shamelessly we shall pay as a government.”
9. Museveni wanted John Garang to rig referendum. “You know with the late Garang (former leader of south Sudan’s government), I can give you this story. They were going for a referendum. This is how he fell off with Mr Museveni. The leadership in south Sudan know. So Mr Museveni tells Mr Garang: “We must win this referendum at any cost.” And then Mr Museveni said: “You know I can give you two million of my Bakiga, they go there and fix things for us. But the idea [for Museveni] was to have a strong hold in south Sudan. Bakiga is a tribe in Uganda (a man in the audience shouts: I am one of them). How can such a person like that be a democrat? How? How can he be? And that was the fallout when it started.”
Source: The London Evening Post, December 16, 2013