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Ugandan Army Whistleblower Vows to Oppose President ‘By Any Means Necessary’

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda, Citizen Media, Politics

Renegade Ugandan General David Sejusa [1] accused [2] President Yoweri Museveni [3] during an interview [2] on BBC Focus on Africa of creating a “political monarchy” to hang on to power.

General Sejusa aka General Tinyefuza fled to the UK last month after claiming that Museveni, who has ruled over the East African country for more than 20 years, was grooming his son Brigadier Muhoozi Kainerugaba to succeed him. Kainerugaba has denied [4] that Uganda is a “political monarchy” and that his father will hand the reins of power to him.

The general's assertions played a part in the shutting down of two newspapers [5] by police in May 2013 after they reported on a controversial letter written by Sejusa, who is the country's coordinator of intelligence services, to the head of the counter intelligence agency asking for an investigation into allegations that opponents of the alleged grooming plan, known as the Muhoozi Project, are targeted for assassination.

In the BBC interview, Sejusa vowed [6] to resist the president “by any means necessary.”

A satirical depiction of General Sejusa and President Museveni by @whatsupafrica. Image source: What's Up Africa Facebook page.

A satirical depiction of General Sejusa (left) and President Museveni by @whatsupafrica. Image source: What's Up Africa Facebook page.

The general's choice words have many people talking online.

Citizen journalist Maureen Agena (@maureenagena [7]) was worried that the issue, widely discussed on the Internet, would prompt the government to monitor social media sites:

@maureenagena [8]: This Sejusa noise is going to make the Ugandan Gov”t [sic] think of monitoring social media again….Lol. They usually rise up to the occasion.

Photo journalist Echwalu Photography (@echwalu [9]) disputed rumors circulating in Uganda that the BBC Uganda office was closed over Sejusa's interview:

@echwalu [10]: BBC #Uganda [11] Offices are not closed. I repeat, BBC Uganda offices are not closed. Whatever rumor going around is just hot air.#Sejusa [12]

The rumour was published on Uganda Picks [13]news website. The website has a reputation for unprofessional behavior. Its Twitter account [14] has been suspended. It's unclear if the suspension is related to the BBC story or other stories. Journalist and blogger Grace Natabaalo (@natabaalo [15]) wrote:

@natabaalo [16]: The search is on for Jane Nambi, author of the story on @ugandapicks [17] alleging that BBC offices in Kampala were closed over Sejusa interview

Kenyan journalist Solomon Mugera (@smugera [18]) wanted to know if Sejusa could face the death penalty for being absent without leave from the army:

@smugera [19]: #Sejusagate [20], still in uniform, absent without leave for >21 days = death sentence?

Human rights activist and blogger Masake Anthony (@masakeonline [21]) pointed out the Ugandan military says he could face the death penalty:

@masakeonline [22]: @smugera [23]: In #Sejusagate [20] #Uganda [11] military says Gen. David #Sejusa [12] cd [could] face death sentence for being absent from work for more than 21 days

Ofwono Opondo (@OfwonoOpondo [24]), Ugandan government spokesperson, believes that Sejusa will fizzle out soon:

@OfwonoOpondo: [25] @jobaze [26] People, don't get excited Gen. Sejusa will fizzle out very soon as he won't return to BBC in the near future

He also claimed that Gen. Sejusa is merely seeking asylum in the UK:

@OfwonoOpondo [27]: The reason Sejusa went to BBC was announce his hostility to create safe ground to be offered asylum.

Some netizens compared the general to American whistleblower Edward Snowden [28], whom they call “Sejusa of America.” Snowden was the man behind revelations of a widespread Internet spying program of the United States government.

Ashaba Ahebwa (@AshabaAhebwa1 [29]), a relief worker based in Denmark, noted:

@AshabaAhebwa1 [30]: @David [31] Sejusa is to #Uganda [11] as @Edward [32] Snowden is to #USA. Look at the #similarities [33],#Contrasts [34] and the #Dramas [35]

Whiplash (@Whiplash [36]) observed the differences between the two:

@Whiplash [37]: Sejusa writes a letter, he's loved. Snowden exposes Obama Admin, his passport is revoked and now more wanted than [Ugandan warlord] Joseph Kony.