By URN/The Independent
State prosecutors have objected to the bail application of jailed former Security Minister, Lt. General Henry Tumukunde.
Tumukunde is battling charges of illegal possession of firearms and treason.
He was picked up from his offices at Impala Avenue in Kampala on March 13th, 2020.
He was charged with illegal possession of an AK 47 rifle registration number 19865 and Star Pistol registration number EL 860030 without a valid firearm license.
Tumukunde has since pleaded not guilty to the charges through his lawyers led by Anthony Wameli, Geoffrey Turyamusiima and Alex Luganda.
He applied for bail in court presided over by Justice Wilson Kwesiga on grounds of advanced age, innocence and the need for time to consult voters on his presidential ambitions.
However, the state prosecution led by Lino Anguzo, the Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions has objected to the application saying Tumukunde has capacity to interfere with ongoing investigations once released.
They rely on the sworn affidavit by Senior Superintendent of police, Richard Mugwisagye who is attached to the Criminal Investigations Directorate-CID headquarters in Kampala.
According to prosecution, Tumukunde is an influential person having served as Commandant of the 4th UPDF Division in Gulu, UPDF Member of Parliament and Head of Internal Security Organisation-ISO before retiring at the rank of Lt General.
They also argue that Tumukunde served as Security Minister, an influential position adding that he is a man of means with a lot of human and material resources at his disposal and thus capable of interfering with investigations.
Prosecution also contends that the offenses Tumukunde is charged with are critical to national security, adding that his release will be a potential threat since the charges affect the diplomatic relations between Rwanda and Uganda.
The relations between the two countries have been fragile and rocky since 2019 compelling Rwanda to close its borders with Uganda.
Prosecution also argues that given the fact that some of the investigators have previously been answerable to Tumukunde in various capacities; his release will be a great hindrance to the investigations.
In his affidavit, Mugwisagye also contends that it isn’t true that Tumukunde is a law abiding citizen having been convicted and sentenced previously on charges of conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline of the defense forces.
In 2013, the General Court Martial chaired by the then Brigadier, Fred Tolit found Tumukunde guilty for conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline of the defense forces which stemmed from a talk Radio show where he criticized President Yoweri Museveni’s leadership and the plot to delete term limits from the Constitution.
He was subsequently sentenced to caution and severe reprimand.
Justice Wilson Kwesiga has set April 14th 2020 to decide whether or not to release Tumukunde.
Genesis of Tumukunde’s Trouble
Tumukunde’s trouble started on March 5th 2020 when he appeared on the Morning Breeze show on the Kamwokya based at NBS TV where he reportedly made statements calling for unlawful change of the legitimate Government of Uganda.
Prosecution quotes Tumukunde saying that, “If I was Rwanda I would wish to support people who want to cause change in Uganda”, a statement they say was aimed at instigating the Republic of Rwanda to invade Uganda to cause unlawful change of Government.