Sejusa Denied Bail, Sent Back to Luzira Top story

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In short
The defence team led by lawyers David Mushabe and Ladislaus Rwakafuzi earlier submitted that Sejusa, 62, was of advanced age, a bread winner for the family and has a constitutional right to bail. He also presented Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Dr. Kizito Deo Lukyamuzi, a surgeon at Case Medical Centre as his sureties.

The General Court Martial has denied bail to Gen David Sejusa, the former coordinator of Intelligence services in Uganda and sent him back to Luzira Prison until March 11, 2016, the day his trial is set to begin.

Court ruled that Sejusa is capable of fleeing the country if released on bail, can influence ongoing investigations in relation to the trial and did not present substantial sureties to support his bail application.

The defence team led by lawyers David Mushabe and Ladislaus Rwakafuzi earlier submitted that Sejusa, 62, was of advanced age, a bread winner for the family and has a constitutional right to bail. He also presented Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Dr. Kizito Deo Lukyamuzi, a surgeon at Case Medical Centre as his sureties.

But court sustained an argument by the prosecution that the two sureties were unsubstantial and could not stand surety for a person at the rank of a General in Uganda's military.  It added that Lukwago and Lukyamuzi, as civilians, do not have the capacity to command a General of Sejusa's nature to appear before court if he chooses not to do so.

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The Chairman of the General Court Martial Maj Gen Levi Karuhanga added that Sejusa, as a high ranking officer of the UPDF, is likely to influence investigations if he is not incarcerated because all senior and junior officers handling the task were once under his direct command.
 
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Sejusa was first remanded to Luzira prison early this month after being charged with absence from duty without leave, conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline of the army, participating in political party activities and insubordination. He was arrested from his home in Naguru on January 31st 2016 by Military Police.

Prosecution at the General Court Martial alleges that Sejusa disobeyed lawful orders, having been asked by the Chief of Defense Forces (CDF) General Katumba Wamala not to involve himself in politics and making public statements contrary to the code of conduct of the Uganda People's Defense Force (UPDF).

Court heard that Sejusa ignored a warning issued on July 25th 2015 by General Wamala and went ahead to attend political rallies organized by opposition political parties in Arua and Kabale districts. He is also accused of participating in political activities organized by the Forum for Democratic Change, Justice Forum and the Democratic Party in Kampala.

Court also heard that on April 22nd 2015, at Bulange Mengo, Sejusa, without authorization appeared on a talk show on Central Broadcasting Service - CBS FM and made statements in contradiction of the UPDF Act.

The other charge stems from his absence from the country in 2013 during a self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom where he stayed for 18 months until December 2014.

This came shortly after he issued a letter claiming that President Yoweri Museveni was grooming his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba to succeed him.  Sejusa also claimed that anyone opposed to the succession plan risked being killed, a plan that government dismissed as baseless.

Sejusa's legal team has already petitioned the High Court in Kampala for orders to block his prosecution before the General Court Martial. They contend that the criminal proceedings before the military court must be stayed until the High Court determines whether he is still a serving military officer who should be subjected to military law.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.