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Tinye/M7: Games politicians play

Ikebesi Omoding

Tinye/M7: Games politicians play

A good number of people are wondering about the reality of the developments


A good number of people are wondering about the reality of the developments surrounding Gen. David Tinyefuza  a.k.a Sejusa.

When last he left Uganda in a huff, > Gen. Yoweri Museveni. The matter came up immediately after the arrest of “rebels” around Mbuya Military Headquarters, as it appeared, and as it was reported; that they had wanted to attack the barracks. Five of those said to have been UPDF soldiers, headed by a lieutenant, were supposed to have appeared in court to answer terrorism charges, but nothing has since been heard about these putschists.

Gen. Tinyefuza, being the coordinating officer of all the intelligence services, would undoubtedly have known about the plot and may have been the one who uncovered it and prevented mayhem. Those in the know say that there were, naturally, high level meetings of the military and intelligence commanders to unravel the plot. Tinyefuza is said to have declined to attend a crucial meeting of the sort on some kind of suspicion. Very soon afterwards, he hightailed to England.

What followed was a highly reported fallout between the two. There was a threat of arresting Tinyefuza if he were ever found in Uganda. In England, Tinyefuza went “on the offensive” accusing Museveni of all sorts of things: he even went to the extent, reportedly of going to The Hague, to prepare a case and charges against Museveni in the International Criminal Court.

Then over a couple of weeks ago, a dramatic turn-around. It ended with the former sworn arch enemies in a camaraderie meeting in State House.

Political pundits are of the view that the whole “hullabaloo” seems to have been stage-managed to achieve certain purposes, most likely in England. This would probably have been to do with some of the Uganda exiles opposed to the NRM regime. If one were to reminisce on some of the untowed happenings to some of the exiles, it may give credence to this supposition.

In the light of the vicious recrimination against former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, and his being debunked from the NRM, it would appear unthinkable that Museveni would have come to a rapprochement with another “enemy”, threatening his power base, as Tinyefuza apparently had done.

There is a precedent to this. When Tinyefuza commanded a force of the UPDF in the North in the early 1990s, he developed feelings of grandeur to the extent that he named himself “king of the north” and went to the extent of mistreating even ministers in the most debasing way.  But Museveni dealt with him appropriately and then he was consigned to katebe.  

It took time for him to be rehabilitated to the lofty position of “chief of the security chiefs”. Surely, this is not the person to have turned against his boss as it appeared it had happened. Or, is it a case like that of the late Eria Kategaya?

You remember that Kategaya, too, left the NRM, and Museveni, with a lot of acrimony, promising to end his tenure of rule. Again, it was unthinkable that the mercurial No. 2 could have gone to those extents. Eventually, it turned out that he is reported to have become broke to the extent that he went back to Museveni, with a begging bowl to be re-admitted to the “eating table” of the NRM. And he was taken back. Was that also stage-managed?

In this case, there has been a mention that Tinyefuza was “suffering” in London; and almost also went to the extent of looking for people of good will close to Museveni, who would help him come back whole.  But going by what the President said in the eventful meeting in Entebbe, Tinyefuza declined such assistance as to returning to Uganda on his own but with assurances of a safe entry; which Museveni duly accorded.

Therein lies the suspicion many people hold that the whole exercise was a rigmarole, rigged to address particular political purposes; and that those, whatever they were, have now been achieved. But it required a spurious flowery arrangement that would make the spymaster appear to have been at loggerheads with his boss. Not so Mbabazi!



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Ikebesi Omoding is the acclaimed author of a weekly column titled: From the Outside Looking In

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