KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has described the fallen former security minister Gen Elly Tumwine as a dedicated and hard-working cadre.
Tumwine passed on the wee hours of Thursday at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya where he has been battling cancer.
Speaking shortly after his demise, Museveni, through Twitter sent his condolences to his family, to the NRA-UPDF- NRM fraternity and to all Ugandans.
“With deep sorrow, I announce the death of General Elly Tumwiine which occurred at 5:46am this morning in Nairobi, from lung cancer.”
Gen. Tumwiine was passed on at 68 years old.
Museveni says he had taught him at Burunga Primary School in 1967, “after our A-levels, as a student teacher, before going to university, later that year.”
He says the late joined FRONASA with 9000 others in 1979, before going to Monduli Military School in Tanzania and was the one who fired the first shot on the 6th February 1981, at Kabamba, at the beginning of the 1981-1986 war of Resistance.
“Since that time, Gen. Tumwiine has been part of the leadership of the NRA- UPDF as well as serving the government in various capacities,” said Museveni.
Joining the army in 1978, Tumwine later joined then rebel leader Yoweri Museveni to the bush to form the National Resistance Army (NRA).
In 1984, he was named commander of the army, a post he held for three years until 1987, when he was succeeded by General Salim Saleh.
In September 2005, he was promoted to the rank of general in the UPDF and chairperson of the UPDF General Court Martial in Makindye where among the persons arraigned before him was opposition strongman, Dr.Kizza Besigye and charged with treason.
The case was later transferred to the civilian court.
During his career, Gen Tumwine also served as Minister of State for Defence in 1989, Director General of the External Security Organization (ESO) from 1994 until 1996, presidential adviser on security from 1996 until 1998, chairman of the High Command Appeals Committee from 1986 until 1999.
Tumwine has also previously represented the UPDF in the Parliament.