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Tumukunde sacking

Gen. Kale Kayihura and Lt.Gen. Henry Tumumukunde . INTERNET/PHOTO

The previous night, the President had called some members of the parliamentary Appointments Committee over the renewal of now sacked former Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura’s contract. The morning of May.9, the same day the committee was set to vet Kayihura, the president called the committee’s chair, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.

The president had received information that an anti-Kayihura lobby group, led by Tumukunde, had been using his name saying that although he had nominated Kayihura, he did not want him approved by parliament. He told Kadaga to ignore the claims as false.

As security minister, Tumukunde supervised both the External Security Organisation (ESO) Internal Security Organisation (ISO). ISO was the main source of the intelligence the president was interested in. And its boss, Col. Kaka Bagyenda had grown very close to Tumukunde.

Sources intimated about how Tumukunde, who had fallen out with Kaka’s predecessor, Ronnie Balya, was now frequenting ISO headquarters under Kaka. This was not all; some of the agents working for ISO were Tumukunde’s new recruits. The president’s aides believed that Tumukunde was in cohorts with ISO and was the one churning out intelligence against a host of government officials.

Some of the officials that were implicated in intelligence reports included; Former Information Minister, Jim Muhwezi, Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi, Bank of Uganda deputy governor Loius Kasekende and former police Chief Kale Kayihura.

For instance, in March last year, Museveni received intelligence that Kayihura was slated to launch a presidential bid at a hotel in Mbarara. As part of the evidence informants showed Museveni campaign-style t-shirts and posters with Kayihura’s photos, which they said was part of his campaign paraphernalia. When Special Forces deployed at the scene, they discovered that it was all a hoax.

On their part, Muhakanizi, Muhwezi, Kasekende were implicated in a scheme that involved hacking into the treasury and stealing millions of dollars. Again, President Museveni called on the BoU team including the governor and ordered an investigation. Later when BoU Governor Tumusiime Mutebile tabled his findings, he said BoU had not lost any funds as alleged in the ISO report. President Museveni was furious that ISO and Tumukunde were behind these fabricated reports.

When The Independent put these questions to Tumukunde last year, the former Security Minister said, he “didn’t get involved in those nitty-gritties”. But insiders did not believe it was a coincidence that these ISO reports were showing up at a time Tumukunde was supervising the entity.

But more than anything else, insiders believe it is the politicking that sealed Tumukunde’s fate. If this is the case, nothing bears it out more clearly like the remarks he made at the burial of Timothy Rukikaire, a son to Mathew and Sheeba Rukikaire in Rukungiri district on March 02.

Many in Museveni’s inner circle did not find innocent the decision by Tumukunde to choose this function to heap praises on Forum for Democratic Change’s Kizza Besigye and former state minister for privatisation Mathew Rukikaire for their outstanding support to the bush war that brought the ruling party in power.

Under normal circumstances, Tumukunde’s call on leaders with ideological differences to resolve them and unite again should have been seen as a good call but in the ears of Museveni’s handlers, it sounded like a call of a man looking to position with and unite the opposition.

Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and Kizza Besigye, who Tumukunde was calling upon, are seen as Museveni’s biggest challengers—the two came third and second respectively after Museveni during the 2016 elections.

It didn’t help matters that Besigye also seized the moment as usual to take a barb at Museveni for not according Rukikaire his due for the role he played during the 1981-86 struggle.

Besigye said that the first 27 people who started guerrilla war in 1981 sat in Rukaikaire’s home in Nsambya, Kampala.

“Museveni and his group started the bush war at Rukikaire’s, who funded them as he headed Shell Petrol Station in the whole of East Africa,” Besigye said, “You can imagine a family which hosted rebels and supported them through keeping their ammunitions and giving them food, as well as other logistics until they finished the war, only to be forgotten soon after getting into power. I was ashamed to be appointed minister at 27, before Rukikaire was appointed one.”

Tumukunde was seen as part of this chorus. His stench had hit its peak. He was fired.


  1. The infighting within the Museveni administration will be its Achilles heel.

    It is only going to intensify. I can only hope it doesn’t result in a blood bath.

  2. ejakait engoraton

    HERE , you are dealing with a perverted , sadistic and vindictive person who forgets and forgives nothing.

    Rightly as you say, he waits and does his things in his own time and his own way, because most times he has time and the means on his side.

    M 7 has never and had never forgiven Tumukunde, like he never forgives those he has had disagreements with, and any pretense at reconciliation is for appearance purposes.This happened even with his life time friend Eriya Kategaya.

    M 7 loves nothing more than exacting revenge and humiliation to those he thinks, rightly or otherwise to have done him wrong, and in bringing back Tumukunde, was probably reacting to pressure from Janet and Salim Saleh, but in doing so was giving Tumukunde enough rope to hang.

    AS it is claimed, he was rewarded for the job he did on Amama Mbabazi, because being an election issue, he did not want the police involved, but in appointing him, part of his job was to sort out issues to do with police, which was headed by a person with whom he was known to have serious differences.And right from the word go, there was a serious administrative conflict in that although his ministry deals with security and police is part of that set up, police is under another ministry – internal affairs.

    This practically is like someone quarreling with his/her brothers wife or trying to discipline her.She would be right in telling you that you are not her husband and that she did not get married to the whole clan.

    So he was just appointed to appease those who were advocating for his rehabilitation but it was just a question of time and opportunity before he would be sacked.

    • Had always given the man benefit of doubt but if he is as this reporter has portrayed, then he and we peace-loving folk are safer with him on permanent ‘katebe’. I had earlier suspected him for a meddler indeed when he was caught in a youth (see his age) melee at 2 am (imagine his status) in Fort Portal after which he claimed he was shot in the leg…which leg he was displaying for all to see and sympathise. I said in my heart, this fellow loves and courts trouble.
      At his age, you begin to go slow because you are past God’s probation period such that every misdemeanor you do is repaid 10 times. If he does not know it ..yet, he never will.
      If he creates a story and reports it with intent to get a fellow officer in trouble, then he is enemy or considers the framed officer enemy.
      It is a ‘cast iron military rule’ that an officer(aka a gentleman) lies to enemy only and even then during a war. The problem with these guys who feed on little merit and much nepotism is that they are not even punished when they do the ‘undoable’. Framing a brother officer with intent to have his neck in a noose is contrary to all laws and God mentions it specifically in article 9. THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS ……. Even if the visionary lets him be, it is a question of time and you see him in a self-courted irredeemable situation. This we know from life experience. If I were him, I would resort to farming and permanently keep off government matters.

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