Renegade General David Sejusa has weighed in on the raging diatribe of controversial Makerere University Researcher Stella Nyanzi against the First Lady and Education Minister Janet Museveni, indicating the academic is a revolutionary standing up to oppression.
No stranger to controversy, Gen. Sejusa says Dr. Nyanzi’s tirades against Mrs. Museveni represent ‘a rejection of the established political and social order’ and a snub to the ‘powerful’.
‘Vulgarity in politics is a rejection of the established political and social order. It is the overt way of rejecting the set social conventions normally set by society. It is the rejection of the so called civilised discourse whose content and usage is normally set and controlled by those with the power. Be that power wielded by the state or the church or elders, the bottom line is that they are social norms used by those with authority to keep in check those they rule over’, Gen. Sejusa wrote in a communication titled ‘The Stella Nyanzi revolutionary journey; vulgar politics as a method of resistance’, issued through, the Freedom and Unity Front (FUF) spokesperson, one Vincent Magombe.
The FUF was formed by Gen. Sejusa in November 2013, a period he was in exile after penning a missive critical of President Yoweri Museveni’s government, in which he indicated that there were plans to ‘eliminate’ top army and political leaders including himself.
In the same document he alleged that Mr. Museveni was hell-bent on being succeeded as President by his son, Major General Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
For long General Sejusa, a former Coordinator of Intelligence Services, has been known for his liberal-minded commentaries on civil-military affairs and this time round the maverick General says Dr. Nyanzi is mistakenly ridiculed by many, yet she is sane but possibly unaware that in taking on the First Family she is engaging in revolutionary politics.
‘Many are amused as why Stella Nyanzi writes that way. I see many calling her names, mad, gay… my mind tells me Stella Nyanzi is none of all those. She is sane and intelligent,’ the General wrote.
He added: ‘what I am not sure is whether she, herself (Dr. Nyanzi) understands that what she is doing is a well-practiced method of political revolt employed throughout history. And I watched poor Janet Museveni wondering why Stella hates her … and saying she forgave her. Janet, like most people is preoccupied with the words used but don’t know that Stella’s method of resistance is called vulgar politics. Hence, throughout history, vulgar politics has been employed in the fight against the powerful. Vulgar politics is very effective and hard to ignore. Indeed it is an effective political tool for the oppressed’.
According to the General, those in power are usually offended when ‘minnows’ take on them, in the process exposing their vulnerability.
‘Vulgar politics does not serve well those in power. It depicts them in bad light. Yet, for the oppressed like Stella Nyanzi, it serves them well because they lure you in their trap. You cannot ignore them. And because it’s nasty, ugly and mean, it gets under the skin of those with authority. It provokes their raw nerves and they overreact. It’s piercing. As brutal as hot lead! So it’s an effective symbol of peoples’ revolt,’ Gen. Sejusa asserts, drawing parallels to the French Revolution and Jacobinism.
Further, he adds: ‘Therefore vulgar politics should not be merely looked at with moral lenses. It is a political tool imbued with violent revolutionary traits and totally at variance with the common pragmatist liberal ideas of political dissent’.
The General also said that the government has probably failed to internalize the possible ramifications of Dr.Nyanzi’s actions.
‘I doubt the Museveni oligarchy even understand what’s happening, thus the Janet Museveni attempt to forgive Nyanzi. In a rebellion, people don’t seek for your forgiveness nor your understanding. Neither are they afraid of the consequences. So your usual methods may not be effective after all,’ Gen. Sejusa wrote.