We offer below our preliminary thoughts to be updated as developments unfold. This is done to help Ugandans at home and abroad to consult and take informed decision to support or not to support Sejjusa and his infant organization hurriedly established two months ago with carefully selected individuals.
1. The timing of Sejjusa’s defection is suspect, coming so soon after NRM government expressed deep concern about the growing strength of the opposition in the diaspora;
2. Fearing that there might be disturbances and obstructions at the conference launching his Freedom and Unity Front (FUF) organization in London in December 2013, Sejjusa issued private invitations to carefully selected individuals instead of a public invitation which would have attracted many participants. Either by accident or change of mind at the conference one participant raised disturbing issues about Sejjusa and was forced out of the conference hall, giving the organization a memorable bad start;
3. To disguise the true purpose of his mission, FUF has been described as ecumenical but there is nothing religious in the Manifesto that has many deficits as outlined already and posted on face book and Ugandans at Heart Forum among other channels of communication;
4. Sejjusa continues to present himself in published photos dressed in military uniform and uses Kyankwanzi language that has defined the NRM philosophy, proving to his masters and NRM that he has not changed;
5. Sejjusa has failed to provide evidence to prove that he is a refugee registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It wouldn’t be surprising if Sejjusa is still enjoying some if not all the benefits and privileges accorded to him before his so-called defection;
6. Sejjusa’s statement at the launch of FUF is extremely vague on the mission of FUF, his activities and even Museveni. He correctly states that he knows Museveni very well because he has been with him for a long time but Sejjusa refuses to tell the public what he knows about Museveni’s commissions and omissions that have violated Ugandans’ human rights and fundamental freedoms. Sejjusa implicitly defended Museveni when he says “…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”. In short, Sejjusa is saying that Museveni should not be blamed for what has happened in Uganda and elsewhere in our region because he is a mere representative.
7. Regarding the mission he states that it is to build a critical mass movement of people to free themselves. The movement starts with Sejjusa by admitting “I am wrong and say I am sorry. But I must move forward”. Here are two basic problems. Sejjusa does not define how the mass of people will free themselves. Second, he refuses totally to give examples of what he did wrong and is sorry for. We know the past impacts the present. Without publically clearing the debris of the past including information about who killed Andrew Kayiira, moving forward is going to be extremely difficult for Sejjusa. Because he can’t be left alone as some people have suggested, Sejjusa should be bold, come clean and spell out in detail how he plans to use the critical mass if he mobilizes it to effect change in Uganda. There are two possibilities: the military option; and non-violent strategy. Which of the two has Sejjusa decided to use? Sejjusa needs to realize that he is now working in a questioning environment different from the one he is used to. He will therefore need to adjust to the wishes of the people. Total silence about his and NRM past and vagueness about the future will not make life easy for him.
Betty Kamya summed up the feelings of many when she wrote “I am sorry but I expected an analysis (genesis, growth, effects, consequences, impact, projections) of Uganda’s problems from Gen. Sejjusa’s statement, his proposed solution, strategies to achieve the solution. I expected to learn what FUF stands for and how it will deliver Uganda. All I learnt was his disappointment with M7, how votes are stolen by NRM and that KB won the 2006 elections. To his credit, he does say, and I agree with him entirely, that the problem of Uganda is bigger and older than M7, but he does not say what the problem is. Can somebody who understood the Gen help me?”
In these circumstances, it is fair to conclude that Sejjusa has not defected. He is on NRM mission to break up the opposition in the diaspora, get Museveni reelected and return home at an appropriate time to continue to serve Museveni and the NRM. Should Sejjusa disagree with this conclusion he is welcome and free to offer his views with supporting evidence.