Opposition Wary of NRM Defectors As Sejusa Returns

Opposition leaders in Luweero and Kampala are angry and urging caution against enthusiastically welcoming disgruntled defectors from the ruling NRM.

Speaking on Tuesday, two days after the return of exiled Gen David Sejusa whose falling out with the regime in April 2013 caused quite a public stir, Luweero FDC chairman Absolomon Bwanika Bbaale said: “We have been fond of revealing our plans to people like Sejusa to dislodge Museveni’s government, overlooking their selfish goals, thinking they can never go back after falling out.”

He added: “I view his secret return as a deal he reached with the regime he has seemingly been opposing… I’m suspicious Sejusa might reveal to Museveni what he has learned of our plans.”

However, in an interview published in this edition, Sejusa rejects speculation that he cut a deal with Museveni. He says he returned because he had a right to return.

But this will make little impression on the opposition, some of whom feel hard-done by. Erasto Kibirango, the Luweero DP chairman, said: “We have always invited such people to our meetings in camera, thinking that they would boost us. But this deed by Sejusa to secretly plan his return with the government he had started opposing as we accommodated him shows that next time we need to go slow with such people, the likes of David Sejusa, Amama Mbabazi and Prof Gilbert Bukenya, among others. They are only spying on us and feeding our plans to Museveni.”

Samuel Sewanyana, the UFA chairman, Luweero, wonders why Sejusa, who was releasing dossiers urging people to get rid of the oppressive regime, had secretly returned.

He said: “We need to devise means of screening such defectors, before they are entrusted with helping us hatch plans to win NRM… ”

Gen Sejusa, a former coordinator of intelligence services, fled to the UK after writing demanding an investigation into an alleged plot to eliminate senior officials opposed to First Son Muhoozi Kainerugaba’s future presidency. When he ran into exile, Sejusa was enthusiastically embraced by the opposition. The general met with FDC former President Col Kizza Besigye in London.

Contacted yesterday, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago said of Sejusa: “His return is as surprising as his exit you just wake up one morning to hear that he fled the country, and then you wake up another morning to hear that he returned.”

“His conduct and character is hard to understand and deal with. He is very unpredictable,” Lukwago added.

Not even his lawyer, Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, one of the few people who were at the airport to receive him on Sunday morning, can explain the conditions under which Sejusa came back.

“The best person to explain whether there were terms and conditions is Gen Sejusa himself,” Rwakafuuzi told The Observer on Monday. “My duty was to be at the airport to receive him as a lawyer beyond that, I absolutely know nothing.”

In an interview published by The Observer in April, Besigye confirmed he was in touch with Sejusa in exile (see: All historicals will go, April 23-24). But while an aide to Besigye claimed that the colonel knew about Sejusa’s return, the likes of Lukwago knew nothing.

“Some of us have all along treated him with suspicion because he was a pillar in the state’s terror machinery [and] for him to turn against the state and become a champion of the rule of law and constitutionalism did not add up,” Lukwago said.

Source : The Observer

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