Sejusa vs Attorney General 1997

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The case of Sejusa vs Attorney General 1997, also known as the case of Major General David Tinyefuza v Attorney General Constitutional Appeal No.1 of 1997

The Petitioner, Major General David Tinyefuza, joined the National Resistance Army (NRA), now Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF) in 1981. At that time the NRA was a guerrilla army engaged in the struggle to oust the Government of the day. They succeeded and took over the reigns of power on 26th January 1986. By that time the petitioner was a Senior Officer and a historical member of the High Command of the NRA.

In 1989, he was further promoted to rank of Major General. In that same year he was appointed Minister of State for Defense, a post he held until 2/2/1993, when he was appointed Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs.

From 1994, to 1995, Major General Sejusa also represented the NRA in the National Resistance Council (Parliament) and the Constituent Assembly. On 28/11/1996, he was summoned by the Parliamentary Sessional Committee on Defense and Internal Affairs and through the Minister of State for Defense, to testify before that Committee in connection with the Civil strife in Northern Uganda. He appeared before the Committee and testified freely and at great length.

In the Course of his testimony before the Parliamentary Committee the Major General Sejusa made a stinging attack on the Uganda Peoples’ Defense Force, in its conduct, particularly in handling the insurgency in Northern Uganda.

Those criticisms were widely reported by the media and press. Apparently the criticisms did not go down well with some Senior Government and Army officials. For example the Army Commander was reported to have told the same Parliamentary Committee when he appeared before it that the petitioner should have first resigned from the Army if he wanted to express his own views and not those of the Army.

The Minister of State for Defense, Hon. Amama Mbabazi, was reported ┬áto have said in an interview that he thought that somebody was “up to something” and the petitioner “was playing along.”

Major General Sejusa wrote a letter of resignation to the President, stating he was being harassed over his testimony before that Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs.

It was reported that President Museveni had told a Press Conference at State House on 17/12/1996, that the petitioner would have to sort out his problems with the Army before he was allowed to resign. This was after the petitioner had submitted his resignation from the UPDF and its High Command on 3-12-96.