Army takes Gen Tumukunde guards amid ‘presidential ambitions’

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Lt Gen Tumukunde

Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) on Monday withdrew all military guards from the former Security minister, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde.

edge.ug contacted the army spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, on the matter but up to now he is still tight-lipped.

According to reports, all the 10 UPDF guards attached to Lt Gen Tumukunde’s homes in Kampala, Kiruhura and Rukungiri districts were recalled.

Daily Monitor reported that the move followed a directive from the UPDF command at the weekend.

Victoria University

The guards were taken back to the Guard Brigade at the Land Forces headquarters in Bombo.

Tumukunde served as an intelligence chief for the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, Internal Security Organisation and Security minister.

Tumukunde last year made headlines when he declared his intentions to run for the mayoral city of Kampala city.

Other reports suggested he was aiming for the top seat [presidency] itself.

Two weeks ago, Tumukunde was among the top army officers who praised the late Maj Gen Benon Biraaro for his boldness to speak out his mind whenever he disagreed with his superiors.

“He had the capacity to differ on principle without being rough-edged. That’s why he disagreed with President Museveni but found importance in difference without being rough,” Lt Gen Tumukunde told mourners at All Saints Cathedral Nakasero in Kampala.

He also told mourners how Maj Gen Biraaro had openly asked Museveni to retire but the President did not respond to him.

The former bush war hero was in 2005 charged with abuse of office and spreading harmful propaganda contrary to the army code of conduct after he gave an interview to local FM radio stations Central Broadcasting Service and Radio One, telling President Museveni that his time was up and should retire.

In 2013, the army court acquitted him of the charges after eight years of trial.

He was retired in 2015 and promoted from Brigadier to Lieutenant General.

After his retirement, Lt Gen Tumukunde campaigned for Museveni during the 2016 presidential elections.

He was appointed Security minister in June that year. He was dropped from Cabinet in March 2018.

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