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Uganda charges four in alleged coup plot

Intelligence agents who worked under self-exiled general David Sejusa will face court martial for suspected "treachery".

Last Modified: 19 Jul 2013 18:06
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Ugandan General David Sejusa is now in self-imposed exile in London [Al Jazeera]

Four men who worked in the office of renegade army general David Sejusa have been charged with plotting to overthrow Uganda's long-serving president, their attorney said.

Ugandan lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi on Friday said all four men who worked as intelligence agents in the office of Sejusa will face a court martial for alleged “treachery” an offence as serious as treason under Ugandan military law and which carries the death penalty.

He said the charge sheet alleges the four engaged in "activities intended to overthrow the legitimate government of Uganda,'' the same charge Sejusa is likely to face if and when he returns to Uganda.

Sejusa's aides were secretly charged weeks ago and are now detained in a quasi-military facility near the capital, Rwakafuuzi said.

Self-exiled in London

Sejusa, 58, is a member of Uganda's military high command and a decorated hero of the bush war that brought Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to power nearly three decades ago.

He is now in self-imposed exile in London after raising concerns that Museveni is grooming his son to become Uganda's next president. The general has since postponed his return to Uganda, saying his life is in danger.

In a letter to the head of Uganda's domestic spy agency, Sejusa had urged an investigation into reports of an alleged plan for the first son to succeed Museveni as president. The letter, which was later leaked to a Ugandan daily, also raised concerns that high-ranking army officers like Sejusa himself risked assassination if they opposed this succession project.

Museveni has never said he sees his son as his political heir. But the son, a senior army officer named Muhoozi Kainerugaba, has been rapidly promoted in recent years, leading many here to believe he is being prepared for high office.

Kainerugaba is now a brigadier with full command of the country's special forces, an elite group within the military that protects the president and guards national assets such as oil fields.

Uganda has not witnessed a single peaceful transfer of power since independence from Britain in 1962.

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