Kampala - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni dared a
dissident general in exile on Wednesday to try to overthrow him and said anyone
seeking to use violence to seize power would be eliminated.
Museveni has come under increasing criticism for his
reluctance to cede power after 27 years as president and over his alleged
failure to tackle corruption in Uganda, Africa's leading coffee exporter. He
denies such allegations.
Many Ugandans say Museveni wants to hand power to his son
Muhoozi Kainerugaba when the president retires.
General David Sejusa fled to London in May from his post as
co-ordinator of Uganda's intelligence services after writing a letter to call
for an investigation into allegations of a plot to assassinate people opposed
to Museveni's succession plan.
Since then, Sejusa has said in interviews with international
media that all means including force should be used to remove Museveni, who
fought his way to power in 1986 after a five-year guerrilla war.
Kainerugaba heads an elite military unit charged with
protecting the president and the East African country's strategic assets, which
include oil fields near the western border with the Democratic Republic of
"If Sejusa wants to use force, let him come. He knows
my address," Museveni told a news conference in the capital. "There's
no hope for anybody using force even on a small scale. If you try, we just
The government shut two daily newspapers and two radio
stations for 10 days in May after they reported on Sejusa's letter, and
Museveni replaced his military chief who had been named as one of those marked
In the years after he came to power, Museveni was hailed for
restoring the rule of law and his embrace of economic policies that attracted
foreign investment and boosted growth.
More recently, opposition to his government has grown.
Domestic critics accuse him of evolving into another African strongman by
repressing the opposition and rigging elections. He was re-elected in 2011.
Western donors including Uganda's biggest bilateral source
of aid, Britain, suspended support late last year after allegations that $13m worth
of relief had been embezzled.