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Bullies like Museveni can’t negotiate unless they are at a disadvantage, says Gen Sejusa.

Former spy chief urges opposition to sustain its pressure on Museveni government rather than to ever think of talks

POLITICS | Any suggestions of Opposition entering into talks with President Museveni can only happen if Museveni will win, Opposition will get a decent chance to lose, or Museveni becomes stronger, Gen David Sejusa has said.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, the former bush war hero and NRA historical said Museveni is a “bully” who can only sit to the dais if it has become clear to him that he can’t win or it is to his advantage to make a deal.

“Those interested negotiating with Museveni have to make him very weak first. A still strong Museveni can’t negotiate himself out of power. Why would he? Because he is a good Christian? Those who think otherwise can dream on,” he said.

Gen Sejusa appears to have been awoken from months of slumber by Daily Monitor’s lead story for Wednesday that said that President Museveni and his four-time challenger Dr Kizza Besigye agreed on five key issues to inform talks planned between them from early last year.

The newspaper, following up on a previous publication on the same matter, said top on the agenda is an audit of the 2016 presidential election results; which, people on both sides knowledgeable on the matter, said divided the parties from the outset and stymied progress.

While the Daily Monitor article poked his ribs, it is not clear if that only was enough to smoke Gen Sejusa out of his shells. The spy chief is rumoured to be among the best informed in intelligence circles, which could mean he could be privy to more than just the Monitor article, especially with regards to recent political developments in the country.

Sejusa said any ideas of talks is just a waste of people’s time. “Shortcuts don’t work with bullies like Museveni. Period! Not until it becomes clear that he cant win or its to his advantage to make a deal. Otherwise don’t deceive people,” he said.

“Strongmen ultimately lose power and Museveni is going to lose it and he knows it. But it cant be through those talks. Just concentrate on the struggle.”

The former director of intelligence agencies in Museveni’s government and one of the most fierce and top commanders in the NRA ‘liberation struggle’ said Muuseveni despises those he views as weak.

In May 2013, Daily Monitor published content of a missive the the spy chief had written to International Security Organisation asking the spy agency to probe assassination plots against top military and government officials he said were opposed to plans to elevate and install President Museveni’s son Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba as his successor.

Gen Sejusa, who changed his name from David Tinyefuza in 2012, has been withdrawn from public life since returning from a brief self-imposed exile when he fled the country to Britain citing threats to his life.

He returned in December 2014 and tried to fight for his freedom from the military that has always insisted imprisons top generals Museveni fears can challenge his presidency.

But the effort to retire from the army has been more difficult that the five years he spent swatting flies and fighting for ratios in the jungles of Luwera during the bush war. He remains a serving officer confined within a uniform he no longer wears.

‘Sustain the pressure’

Upon his return, Sejusa tried to identify with the Opposition but the state was always around his neck, ready to swoop down on him if he made any reckless steps. The State decided to slap charges against him and he would spend several months under house arrest, especially around 2016 general elections.

Over time, the former spy chief appears to have sunk into his shell and stayed there, until the Monitor story poked him out of the reverie.

“Talks with Museveni at the current moment are only possible in the following scenarios. First, if Opposition want a decent war to surrender. That, he can grant. Second, when Museveni feels that talks can buy him time or strengthen him. Third, to halt your [Opposition] momentum,” Sejusa, who has no doubt been following the recent political developments and the pressure it is exerting on Museveni’s 32-year rule, tweeted.

Responding to NBS journalist Dalton Kaweesa’s tweet on whether he was still pushing on with the struggle despite appearing to have left the public realm, the man who has fallen out with Museveni at least three times said people like them never surrender.

“Anyway, not everyone doing serious work is in that “public realm”. Will take three times more effort to remove Museveni than the podium and talk shows. You will see. And when its all passed, you will remember these words,” he said.

Gen Sejusa also reflected on former Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe, whose 37-year grasp of the flywhisk in the Southern African country was dramatically ended in November last year when he was squeezed into a corner too tight he carved in.

“Even where these strongmen are forced into a deal like was in Zimbabwe, Mugabe would never
genuinely share power with [Morgan] Tsvangirai. It ultimately took the military to remove him. Of course, this was precipitated by MDC struggles and the old man’s own failures,” he said.

Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe’s strongest challenger of decades, passed on in February at the age of 65. He led the Movement for Democratic Change that challenged Mugabe’s decades of stronghold on power.

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