Special Reports

EXCLUSIVE: Inside the Fall and Rise of Gen Tumukunde

In November 2015, buy http://cccnt.com.au/wp-content/plugins/the-events-calendar/src/tribe/importer/file_reader.php a visibly annoyed Gen Kale Kayihura picked his mobile phone and called Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde.

Tumukunde was disembarking a chopper in Kabarole District where he was distributing logistics for president Museveni’s presidential campaigns.

Interestingly, pills http://cehurd.org/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-post-v1-1-endpoint.php the Electoral commission had made adjustments and given presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi a green light to use the venue for his rally.

When the chopper carrying the ex Internal Security Organisation boss touched down at the playground, treatment http://cinselistekartirici.org/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.jetpack-debugger.php Mbabazi’s agents started crying foul.

They accused police and security of attempting to scare away crowds from the rally venue and disrupting their activities.

Amusingly, Tumukunde did not pick Kayihura’s calls. The police chief chose to call his staff in Kabarole, directing Tumukunde to “leave the place immediately.”

Tumukunde’s chopper would later take to the skies.

Crime

Highly placed sources told ChimpReports that Museveni is hugely concerned with the rising cases of crime especially in Kampala – the main reason he is returning Tumukunde to the security docket.

The president is equally frustrated with police’s failure to properly investigate murders and arrest suspects.

Opening the retreat of Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of State, Permanent Secretaries and Representatives of Local Governments in March 2016, the President expressed alarm at police’s inefficiency in investigating Busoga murders.

“I had to go down there and talk to people, bring families aside and talk to them,” said Museveni.

“Instead of investigating cases, they hold rallies. They keep telling me stories,” charged Museveni.

“Police Officers should be awarded prizes for fiction. This time they took composition writing too far,” he added in reference to an intelligence report on a murder in Busoga.

ChimpReports understands that Tumukunde will reinforce police to end insecurity in the country.

During his heydays as the country’s spy chief, the Rukungiri-born retired military officer commanded what was known as “Kitante Boys” – a group of experience investigators who routed criminals in the city.

While Tumukunde was accused of using excessive force and abusing human rights, he successfully broke the spine of ADF bombers in Kampala suburbs.

Frustration 

Sources said some of the military personnel and experienced spies sent to work closely with the IGP’s office have since shared their frustration with President Museveni.

“Some good investigators were sent to Kayihura but they are so frustrated. These are the people who would have helped him combat crime. But look at his lead investors – the likes of Nickson don’t have capacity to end crime,” a deep-throat source confided in this website.

The second main reason behind Gen Tumukunde’s appointment is to help build and consolidate new security structures for the country amid increased terrorist threats.

Several police stations and military facilities have been raided by gunmen with majority of the attackers disappearing in thin air.

Notable are Mubende Police Station which was raided by armed bandits and Mbuya Barracks in the capital city.

Many of the criminals who have shot and killed many Muslims have never been arrested.

“Tumukunde’s new responsibility is breaking up cells of criminal gangs and liaising with foreign security agencies to maintain the country’s national security,” said a source in the army.

When the U.S. embassy in Nairobi was bombed together with the one in neighboring Tanzania, killing over 200 people – the Kampala mission was also a target at the same time.

However, then Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) under then commander Henry Tumukunde thwarted the would be heinous attack, according to impeccable sources.

It will be recalled that following the exit of Gen David Sejusa, the position of Coordinator of Intelligence Organs has been vacant, leading to clashes among security and intelligence agencies.

“Tumukunde is a strong personality. He will align security agencies to achieve common objectives. Lack of coordination breed conflict. He found ISO a very weak institution headed by a Major but filled it with graduates who are now regional intelligence chiefs,” said a source.

“Tumukunde also has special attributes that allow him win trust of say local people and diplomats. We connects well with all kinds of people which enabled him a build a solid network of informers across the country.”

Politics 

The third reason is politics. During the last general elections, Tumukunde was at the forefront of uprooting Mbabazi’s grassroots structures.

Mbabazi’s structures had three layers. Two were visible while the third was always covert. This meant that buying off a cell of mobilisers in a village did not mean destroying Mbabazi’s structures in that specific area.

The second layer would spring up to continue work. If this group was jailed or bribed to defend, the covert structure would go ahead with mobilisation.

But Tumukunde combed all parts of the country in what was seen a guerrilla counter offensive to destroy Mbabazi’s grassroots structures.

Addressing journalists in Arua District, Mbabazi was visibly scared of Tumukunde’s determination to sabotage his presidential bid.

“I really don’t know who commands Tumukunde,” said Mbabazi who was flanked by UPC’s Olara Otunnu and DP leader, Norbert Mao.

“’I don’t know where he gets his ‘billions’ he is using to buy people. Tumukunde is always going ahead of me,” added Mbabazi.

He further said Tumukunde’s actions and defacing his posters by NRM officials underlined attempts to intimidate his supporters and frustrate his political ambitions.

“There is a sign of fear on their part and this intimidation is meant to hinder us from spreading our message,” said Mbabazi.

Tumukunde would later deny the accusations, saying Mbabazi should not use him as a scapegoat for losing the elections.

The NRA war machine gunner is expected to continue with not only security operations but also defeating opposition figures’ plans to remove Museveni from power.

Background

Tumukunde was born in Rukungiri District in the Western Region of Uganda in 1961.

He attended Kigezi College Butobere (Siniya) and Kibuli Secondary School for his O-Level and A-Level education, respectively.

Tumukunde graduated from Makerere University with the degree of Bachelor of Laws, awarded in the early 1980s. He also holds the Diploma in Legal Practice, awarded by the Law Development Centre in 2010.

NRA war

During his time at Makerere, Tumukunde was involved in anti-government politics which subsequently led to his joining of then rebels, the National Resistance Army led by current Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Tumukunde was hounded by the government security services during his last year at the University and on completion, decided to join the struggle, along with some of his friends at the time, Major General Mugisha Muntu and Colonel Jet Mwebaze (RIP).

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, indicated by his senior number RA 0111.

Injury

In 1985, during one of the bigger battles with the UNLA in Luweero, Tumukunde was shot multiple times in his legs. The wounds were so major that it was thought he would not be able to survive. He was however smuggled out of the country to Nairobi and eventually to London where he was operated on.

On capturing power, Tumukunde promoted to the rank of Major and appointed first secretary and Military Attache at the Ugandan Embassy in the United Kingdom.

Subsequently Tumukunde was sent on 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 later on returned to Uganda where he became the Army’s Director of Planning. Tumukunde served in this role for many years and was very instrumental in the set up of formal military structures in the UPDF which had until then been a rebel army.

In 1994 Uganda held elections for the Constituent Assembly and Tumukunde sought to represent his home county Rubaabo.

His main competitor was a government minister and senior figure Professor Mondo Kagonyera. Tumukunde who was in early thirties at the time was thought to be the underdog in the race however as it turned out, Tumukunde was a very good mobiliser and won by a landslide margin.

Tumukunde then joined the CA which formulated the current 1995 Ugandan Constitution. Tumukunde was known to be a regular and astute contributor to the sessions and debates that preceded the formation of the Constitution.

Following the set-up of the constitution, Uganda held elections and Tumukunde subsequently became a member of parliament representing the Army as a special interest group. He went on to serve as an MP until 2005. In addition to this Tumukunde was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and appointed Chief of Personnel and Administration.

In 1998, Tumukunde was again promoted to the rank of Colonel and appointed Chief of Military Intelligence and Security. His tenure was arguably the most successful by any officer as it is during this time that Al-Qaeda’s plan to bomb the American Embassy was thwarted.

There was also a time where bombings were rampant within the Capital Kampala, and once again Tumukunde formed several intelligence committees within the city and the problem was gotten rid of.

Tumukunde also built an amicable rapport with the Muslim community which many had accused of spearheading the attacks, so much so that key intelligence information was forwarded to him with ease. Arguably, it was during his reign that the Ugandan Intelligence apparatus was at its most efficient.

Northern Uganda

Tumukunde was then 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 and Tumukunde made significant headway during his time as Division Commanding Officer, in diminishing the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

 

Tumukunde was then appointed Director General of ISO, the Internal Security Organisation, Uganda’s Civil Intelligence Body. During his time at ISO, Tumukunde set up structures that returned ISO to being the country’s foremost Intelligence gathering body, just as he had done with CMI. The ISO became renowned for its efficient and effective approach towards Intelligence and Counter-terrorism.

The Fall Out

Tumukunde’s fast rise to the upper echelons of both the political and military scene in Uganda marked him out as one of Uganda’s most popular and well known figures and ultimately, this, alongside his very strong minded and unrelenting dedication to his country, brought him into the sights of the very institutions he helped to consolidate.

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 right 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.

Predictably this put him at loggerheads with the establishment and more so the President.

Arrest

Tumukunde was charged with the offences of abuse of office and spreading harmful propaganda. The abuse of office charges were eventually dropped in a manner which suggested that they had been politically motivated in the first instance.

What followed was however a surprise to many. Tumukunde was on 28 May 2005, forced to resign from Parliament and subsequently arrested on the orders of the President.

His home was surrounded by no less than 50 soldiers commanded by Kale  Kayihura and Masaba who proceeded to arrest him. Tumukunde was then driven in a tightly guarded convoy to an officers mess turned detention where he was incarcerated for nearly 2 years during which he had limited and tightly controlled contact with the outside world.

His detention coupled with a series of controversial and uncertain court martial hearings seemed to backfire leading to irreversible pressure which culminated in his release in 2007.

His arrest followed his opposing views to the proposed ‘third term’ project that suggested a revision to the Ugandan constitution enabling one to serve more than two terms as President as was the case at the time.

On 18 April 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.


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