Gen Elly Tumwine: Former Ugandan security minister dies aged 68

9 months ago

Tumwine breathed his last at Aga Khan Hospital in Kenya's capital Nairobi.

The now late Gen. Elly Tumwine. (File photo)

Charles Etukuri
Senior Writer @New Vision


Former Ugandan security minister Gen. Elly Tumwine died Thursday morning in a hospital in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

He was 68.

Tumwine breathed his last at Aga Khan Hospital, where he was flown about two weeks ago from Nakasero Hospital battling cancer-related complications.

When contacted on the news of the general's death, defence spokesperson Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye said: “Wait for the President's message on this matter.”

A senior security and family source told New Vision that the President had been informed about Tumwine’s death and was due to announce the news to the nation.

Tumwine was also an educator, visual artist and musician.


Gen. Elly Tuwmine served in different positions. (File photo by Wilfred Sanya)

Gen. Elly Tuwmine served in different positions. (File photo by Wilfred Sanya)

Born on April 12, 1954, in Burunga, Mbarara district, Tumwine attended Burunga Primary School, Mbarara High School and St. Henry's College Kitovu.

He then joined Makerere University, where in 1977, he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art together with the Diploma in Education.

In 1978, he fled Uganda and joined the Front for National Salvation (FRONASA) led by current Museveni to fight late President Idi Amin.

In 1981, Tumwine joined the National Resistance Army (NRA) and is credited with having fired the first shot that launched the guerilla war.

In 1984, Tumwine was named the NRA army commander and lost one of his eyes during the bush war. Three years later, Gen. Salim Saleh succeeded him.

Tumwine also served as Minister of State for Defence in 1989, Director General of the External Security Organization (ESO) from 1994 until 1996, Presidential Adviser from 1996 until 1998.

He was also the chairman of the High Command Appeals Committee from 1986 until 1999.

He was one of the longest serving Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) Members of Parliament, having represented the army from 1986 until 2021, when he was defeated in polls.

In September 2005, he was promoted to the rank of general in the UPDF and named to chair of the UPDF General Court Martial.

On May 16, 2022, Tumwiine was among 34 generals who were retired from the UPDF.


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