KOLOLO – Military sources have indicated to PML Daily that presidential aspirant Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, who has been arrested in a joint operation by Special Forces Command (SFC) and Uganda Police will be charged in General Court-Martial on Friday, March 13, 2020, on yet to be known charges.
An aide said on Thursday evening that Gen. Tumukunde, who last week declared his presidential bid was being slapped with treason charges.
Gen. Tumukunde last week announced he will run for president in 2021.
Media reports indicated that Gen. Tumukunde planned to announce his presidential bid in April – four months to the proposed nomination dates, but his plan was scuttled once the intelligence services got wind of it and alerted their commander-in-chief.
Mr. Museveni responded by ordering the withdrawal of all Gen. Tumukunde’s army guards, a strange president given that he is entitled to security as a retired general. Besides the military escorts and a UPDF lead car, Gen. Tumukunde also had military guards at home and office, along Impala Avenue, Kololo.
Gen. Tumukunde’s interest in the presidency is not new. In 2003, during a retreat at the National Leadership Institute Kyankwanzi, then a Brigadier, Tumukunde who also doubled as an Army MP infuriated President Museveni when he openly criticized the “third-term project” tailored largely to amend the Constitution and remove presidential term limits. That project handed Museveni a termless presidency.
His opposition to the amendment led Gen. Tumukunde to lose his seat in Parliament in May 2005, a month before MPs took the controversial vote to amend the Constitution.
In days that followed, Gen. Tumukunde was arrested and subsequently charged with abuse of office, military misconduct and spreading harmful propaganda.
The abuse of office charges was later dropped but the state maintained the other charges. The General Military Court-martial, which tried him till April 2013, later sentenced him to severe reprimand.
In September 2015, Gen. Tumukunde who was at the rank of Brigadier was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and subsequently retired from the army before Museveni deployed him to neutralize former prime minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi’s 2016 presidential campaign network.
Museveni named Gen. Tumukunde in his post-2016 election cabinet as security minister giving him an opportunity to fell Police chief Gen Kale Kayihura who commanded the soldiers that arrested him (Tumukunde) in 2005. Both men were later dropped from the government in March 2018.
How Gen. Tumukunde was arrested:
Journalist Andrew Mwenda in a tweet said two roads were sealed off in Kololo near the offices of Multichoice Uganda along Impala Avenue, what used to be Lawns Restaurant.
“Deployment along impala Avenue is heavy, a combination of heavily armed mean-looking SFC and JAT commandos brandishing automatic weapons have sealed off part of Impala Avenue with trucks and not allowing anyone to go through,” Mwenda twitted.
He also claimed that Tumukunde by the time of filling this story was still at former Lawns, which he had turned into his offices and “Police are searching the house before they take him off to custody.”