Exiled opposition leader says Museveni signing anti-gay bill is about staying in power
General David Sejusa, a former minister and intelligence chief for the Ugandan Government, has said that President Yoweri Museveni’s signing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is solely about maintaining his grip on power
Exiled former Ugandan intelligence chief General David Sejusa has said that President Yoweri Museveni’s signing of the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill is purely a political maneuver aimed at retaining power, in a communiqué to the Ugandan people.
Sejusa has been living in exile in London since splitting from the Ugandan Government in 2013 and forming the opposition Freedom and Unity Front (FUF) after announcing his concerns that Museveni planned to hand the presidency to his own son on retirement.
Sejusa has now communicated his interpretation of the president’s move to sign the bill, saying that it is an attempt to appear as a strong man in front of the Ugandan people and to retain the presidency that he has held since January of 1986.
‘We need to understand the context in which this issue is being pushed and determined,’ General Sejusa wrote earlier this week.
‘It is at a time when Mr Museveni and a few of his henchmen find themselves increasingly isolated both locally and internationally. They are finding it hard to maneuver through the ever shrinking political space in which they find themselves now.
‘Therefore all populist actions/decisions by the regime for short term political gains but which are potentially damaging in the long term must be exposed and our people empowered to be on guard. The oppressor uses these short term populist agendas to gain political capital which if not detected and resisted end up enslaving the people in the long term. We therefore need to be very careful.
‘Therefore, the current debate on the Anti-gay bill and the deliberate targeting and positioning of gay people at the center of a hate campaign orchestrated by Mr Museveni and his group of political opportunists must be questioned and the motive behind it exposed. This is important because it goes to the very foundation of the struggle for individual freedoms in a society and also underlines the question of principles and ethics on which leaders should be judged.
‘For, as governments become stronger, so does the space of individual freedoms shrink. So the battle for individual freedoms is a struggle that defines the ever existing struggle between governments and the people they govern, who in the first place hold all the power.’
Gneral Sejusa wrote that Museveni’s signing of the bill was ‘calculated and cleverly timed for political capital at the time his rule is under siege.’
‘He is an opportunist and manipulator. It’s about the Pentecostal lobby, about the unsuspecting Christians and Muslim voters; and he is now trying to neutralize Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s own popularity by riding the same issue at the time he is fighting internal wars within his National Resistance Movement, or what is remaining of it.’
General Sejusa said that claims the bill was needed to protect children from pedophilia were a smokescreen.
‘You wonder why a president would imagine that we need to protect our children in schools against homosexuals mostly or even only, as if it is alright for heterosexuals to abuse our children,’ Sejusa wrote, ‘It does not matter whether the abuser is heterosexual or homosexual; the bottom line is that children should not be abused.’
‘Rape and defilement of children have been capital offenses on our statute books for some time now … So the current Anti-gays bill that Mr Museveni is running around with is intended to be a political weapon as he gears to unleash terror on leaders of the opposition when the electoral process hits up.
‘We also need to understand that there are laws already in place that cover all those areas supposed to be addressed by the new Anti-homosexual law. So why this law now?’
General Sejusa also denied the notion that homosexuality was a foreign import or ‘unafrican.’
‘I refute claims made by Mr Museveni when he arrogantly tries to associate homosexuality with race when he tries to associate homosexuality with the white race, claiming that it is being imported to Africa by Europeans,’ Sejusa wrote.
‘Whether there are interest groups in Europe and America involved in this is a different issue which can be explored. But what is definitely wrong is to associate homosexuality with race categorization.
‘His wild claims don’t stand up to any scientific or historical scrutiny. Mr Museveni’s claims show sheer ignorance. Actually, between 1933 and 1945, between 50,000 and 65,000 homosexuals perished in Nazi Germany.’
General Sejusa also questioned the Ugandan Government’s priorities in going after homosexuals when there were so many more important issues facing the country.
‘I read Mr Museveni warning the West not to interfere with his homosexual project – that he will defeat them like he has always done,’ Sejusa wrote.
‘Well, those who Mr Museveni postures to have fought and defeated are planning to land man on Mars and to Land a Spaceship on a Comet at 24,600MPH (speed) after being to the moon numerous times.
‘Yet, the greatest issue of life and death according to these African traitors is homosexuality! That is what occupies our Parliament, our Mr president! Not how to save the toiling African from extinction because of hunger, violence, wars, disease, including jiggers etc. Time to get our priorities right Mr President.’