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Invoking ‘Luwero Method’ shows Museveni is in war mode, warns Gen Sejusa

Gen David Sejusa warns Opposition against dismissing President Museveni's latest State of the Nation Address, saying his former boss and comrade in the bush is 'very serious'

SECURITY | President Museveni’s “Luwero Method” rhetoric means he is now considering anything that threatens his political survival as a terrorist, Gen David Sejusa has said, warning that the threats must not be taken lightly.

Museveni invoked the so-called ‘Luwero Method’ on Saturday when he rushed to the murder scene of former Nansana, Old Kampala and Buyende District Police Commander Mohammed Kirumira.

Kirumira, a vocal senior cop, was gunned down by unknown assailants near his home in Bulenga, a city suburb, at about 9pm last Saturday. Museveni, who rushed to the scene within two hours of the incident, later released a statement in which he warned that he would “stop these pigs” by not just relying on the old police methods.

“Pending the installing of cameras etc everywhere, we are going to re-activate the ‘Luwero Methods’ to deal with these cowardly pigs,” Museveni said.

A day later during the national address, President Museveni said the government would deploy at least 24,000 reservists, mainly local defence unit (LDU) personnel and crime preventers, in the capital Kampala and neighbouring Wakiso District as a major commitment to rein in crime.

“There are a thousand villages in Kampala, we will flood them all with our guns… we will see whose guns have more effect,” he said

According to Gen Sejusa, one of the senior commanders of the NRA guerillas led by Museveni, the ‘Luwero Method’ redefines the enemy as terrorists and widens the scope of management of the enemy with the military at the forefront.

Luwero, in central Uganda, was the operation base of the NRA guerillas for four years of the protracted battle that brought President Museveni to power 32 years ago. To ensure discipline within his ragtag fighters, Museveni banned any engagements that would endanger civilians, saying their goodwill and support was crucial to the cause.

Soldiers who broke the rule and did anything that threatened the relationship between the civilians and his fighters were dealt with ruthlessly. Summary execution, such as of Capt Shaban Kashanku and a fearless fighter nicknamed Cobra, defined the Luwero Method.

“When Museveni reverts to Luwero Methods, it tells you he is in war mode,” Gen Sejusa said, arguing, however, that the methods were to “execute a war not to manage politics.”

‘Not a laughing matter’

In a seties of tweets on Tuesday, the former coordinator of intelligence agencies said the ruthless method is not a laughing matter and warned the Opposition against taking the recent State of the Nation Address lightly, saying Museveni gave out his true colours.

“Most Opposition politicians are dismissing Museveni address of the nation as useless. Even listening to NRM praise-singers, you get the impression that most of them are clueless about the true intent or the subtle message being put out there. Museveni is serious,” he said.

President Museveni has always bemoaned the “rudimentary” approach to dealing with crime, especially in investigations, first cited his wish to roll back the clock in 2015 when addressing the issue of Muslim clerics murders.

At the time, he said that if he had the opportunity to use Kiyekera style (jungle law), the killings would be no more.

Meanwhile, Gen Sejusa also weighed in on the killing of Kirumira, saying it has been hard to take in, but added that those in the struggle [against Museveni’s government] should not despair.

“In times of strategic delay like now, people struggle to come to terms with these immense tragedies. They are not sure what to do next. Even those struggling to improve things start feeling unsure of their mission but it is important to know that most worthwhile struggles go through this,” he said.

He also drew from Victorian era English botanist Alfred Russel Wallace’s experience with a stuck butterfly, saying the insect had dropped dead the moment Wallace freed it from the cocoon yet while it remained stuck, it continued to flat away and fight for freedom.

Sejusa said the butterfly had dropped dead  because it needed the struggle, arguing that the pain and that tedious work were necessary in its struggle.

“Without pain, there would be no shape, character or even life. So, many times the pain and anguish we experience during the waiting process is key to our success,” he said.

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