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Tumukunde's military journey: The highs and lows

By Admin

Added 4th March 2020 08:59 AM

On September 1, 2015, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and retired from the army

Tumukunde's military journey: The highs and lows

Tumukunde at the Constitutional Court in 2005

On September 1, 2015, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and retired from the army

By last evening, the media was awash with reports that the former security minister, Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, had declared his intentions to contest for presidency come 2021. 
 
To back up his intentions, the retired senior army officer had written to the Electoral Commission to make arrangements to start consultations ahead of the general elections.
 
Here, we look at who Tumukunde is:
He had kept a low profile since his sacking, only to turn up recently and announce that he was seeking the mayoral seat in Kampala.
 
Henry Tumukunde is a retired senior military officer of the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF). He was the Minister of National Security in the Cabinet of Uganda.
 
He was appointed to that position on June 6, 2016. On March 4, 2018, he was relieved of his duties in a cabinet reshuffle.
 
A lawyer, Tumukunde also served as the army's chief of personnel and administration, chief of military intelligence as well as serving as the commanding officer of the UPDF Fourth Division, based in Gulu in northern Uganda.
 
He also served as the director-general of the Internal Security Organisation and a Member of Parliament representing the Army in the Sixth and Seventh Parliament (1996 to 2005).
 
Born in Rukungiri
Born on February 28, 1959, in Rukungiri district, western Uganda, Tumukunde studied at Bishop Stuart College Demonstration School for his primary studies before going to Kigezi College Butobere and Kibuli Secondary School for his O-Level and A-Levels, respectively.
 
He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University in 1981 before he joined the bush war that ushered in the National Resistance Movement government five years later.
 
He also holds a Master's degree in Oil and Gas Management, awarded by the Graduate Institute of Geneva in 2013.
 
Joining the NRA guerillas
During his time at Makerere, Tumukunde was involved in anti-government politics, which subsequently led to his joining of the rebels who had started fighting in Luwero along with Major General Mugisha Muntu and Colonel Jet Mwebaze.
 
Obote's security services at the time caught wind of their impending departure for the bush and mounted an attack on the NRA's transit house, a shop in the country's capital city, Kampala.
 
It is said that Tumukunde alongside Muntu posed as shopkeepers, surviving what would have been sure torture and death.
 
In the early stages of the war, Tumukunde was a machine gunner and eventually went on to become one of the senior officers in the rebel army. His army number is RA 0111.
 
In 1985, during one of the bigger battles with the Uganda National Liberation Front in Luweero, Tumukunde was shot multiple times in his legs. The wounds were so major that it was thought he would not survive.
 
He was, however, smuggled out of the country to Nairobi and eventually to London where he was operated on.
 
On capturing power, Tumukunde was promoted to the rank of major and appointed first secretary and a military attache at the Ugandan Embassy in the United Kingdom.
 
He was later sent to a Command and Staff Course at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, in Kaduna, Nigeria from where he emerged as one of the best students. He returned to Uganda where he became the Army's director of planning.
 
In 1994, Tumukunde was elected to represent Rubabo in the Constituent Assembly, which drafted the 1995 Constitution of Uganda.
 
Tumukunde was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and appointed the chief of personnel and administration, before another promotion in 1998, that made him a colonel and was appointed the chief of military intelligence.
 
Tumukunde was than promoted to brigadier general and transferred to command the UPDF Fourth Division based in Gulu. At the time, the war with the LRA was ongoing.
 
After a short stint in Gulu, Tumukunde was appointed director-general of the ISO, Uganda's civil intelligence body.
 
At a political retreat in 2003, Tumukunde, in the presence of the president and his cabinet, argued against the impending removal of term limits that would give President Museveni the opportunity to stand for re-election on an infinite basis.
 
Tumukunde stated that this would be in direct contravention of the rights that they fought to establish and that he was not willing to take part in what he considered to be grossly unconstitutional behaviour. This did not go well with the leadership of the country.
 
Tumukunde was charged with the offences of abuse of office and spreading harmful propaganda. The abuse of office charges were eventually dropped. He was on 28 May 2005 forced to resign from Parliament and later arrested.
 
On April 18, 2013, the UPDF General Court Martial sat to bring an end to the process that had lasted 8 years and summed up its deliberations.
 
The charge of spreading harmful propaganda was dropped while the joint charge of military misconduct was upheld and Tumukunde was subsequently sentenced to a severe reprimand.
 
On September 1, 2015, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and retired from the army and nearly a year later, he was on June 6, 2016, appointed to the Cabinet as the Minister of Security, a position he held up to the evening of Sunday, March 4, 2018, when he, together with General Kale Kayihura, the former Inspector General of Police, was fired.
 

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