KAMPALA — Veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda has alleged that Lt. Gen. Henry Tukumunde who this week confirmed plans to take on fellow bushman, President Yoweri Museveni that he started Uganda-Rwanda bitter disputes.
Mr. Mwenda said that Gen Tumukunde while still, security minister lied to President Yoweri Museveni that the then Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura was colluding with Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame to overthrow Kampala establishment.
“Now [Gen.] Tumukunde is appealing to Kagame to help him overthrow Museveni,” Mwenda said.
In the bitter disputes between Kampala and Kigali, Mwenda who was Kagame advisor claims that Gen. Tumukunde fanned anti-Rwanda fires.
“He ranted and fretted, yelled and gloated anti-Rwanda and anti-Kagame rhetoric! He cooked lies that Rwandan intelligence using Kayihura were embedded on every arm and every leg of Uganda police,” Mwenda alleges.
President Museveni in 2018 fired Gen Tumukunde together with Gen Kayihura, at the height of public spat between the two Bushmen.
The feuding, according to some insiders, had stymied cooperation between police and intelligence agencies and threatened to derail the national security agenda.
Tumukunde was replaced with Gen. Elly Tumwine while Kayihura was replaced with Martin Okoth Ochola who was serving as his deputy.
Kayihura was later arrested and detained in military custody.
In the run-up to his court date, there had been much speculation about the charges he might face.
There were also reports he would face treason charges for allegedly running illegal foreign-backed operations with the goal of overthrowing president Museveni’s government.
However, when it finally came down to it, the state levelled against Kayihura two counts of “failure to protect war materials” and one count of abetting the kidnap and repatriation of Rwandan exiles.
The state alleged that between 2012 and 2016, Kayihura, working with subordinate officers and Rwandan agents, kidnapped and repatriated Rwandan exiles.
These include Lt. Joel Mutabazi, a former presidential bodyguard, who was returned to Rwanda in 2013 and is now serving a life term for “plotting to kill President Kagame”.
A number of senior police officials, all widely seen as Kayihua’s loyalists, were implicated in this offense.
Kayihura was later released to his Kasagama home in Lyantonde.
In other accusations to Gen. Tumukunde, Mwenda claims that the presidential hopeful while still a serving military man, even called upon Uganda People’s Defense Forces not to get involved in partisan politics “Yet as head of CMI, ISO, and 4th Division CO, Tumukunde acted in partisan fashion: he campaigned for Museveni, used public funds to bribe and cajole and his guns and soldiers to intimidate those who resisted”
When in power, Tumukunde bribed intimidated journalists, alleges Mwenda.
“[Tumukunde] threatened sabotaged media houses and talked ill of journalists and journalism! Now he has realized the value of a free press which is giving him a platform to raise his concerns! But does he remember his record?” Mwenda added.