Uganda police drags Rwanda in Gen Tumukunde arrest

On 14 March 2020 at 07:00

He had spent more than a week warming up before starting a countrywide consultations as a presidential candidate in Uganda next year. However he was arrested and Rwanda is now being dragged into his woes.

Rtd Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde is a former minister in charge of security in Uganda. He was the only one who lost his ministerial post on the 4th March 2018 in a reshuffle made by President Museveni.

When Gen Kale Kayihura who was chief of Uganda police got removed from office and even got arrested on 13th June 2018, word spread that Lt Gen Tumukunde had a hand in it. That he accused Kayihura of working for Rwanda as a ploy.

At the beginning when Rwandan nationals in Uganda got arrested and tortured in 2017, Lt Gen Tumukunde seemed to coordinate the process, supposedly a long term plan by President Museveni of destabilizing Rwanda when anti-Rwanda rebel organizations including RUD-Urunana and RNC intensified their activities openly.

Lt Gen Tumukunde used to be Museveni’s, right-hand man. After one month and nine days out of cabinet, he vehemently proclaimed he wanted to warm the seat of president Museveni in which he has spent 34 years. That he wished to campaign in 2021 elections hence facing his former master.

On Thursday evening he got arrested; his home and office got surrounded by soldiers and police, the search was done and later he was taken to the Headquarters of CMI at Mbuya for detention.

Friday morning, Uganda police announced that he is accused of being a traitor following what he had said over television and radio, aimed at planting hatred among the population which bordered on criminality.

The statement goes on to state that he sought help from a neighboring country to help him remove the current government either through elections or otherwise.

The neighboring country implicated by the Ugandan police is Rwanda basing on what he said over NBS Television last week.

In the interview at the 59th minute, he asked what he would do to restore the estranged relations between Uganda and Rwanda.

In answering Tumukunde said: “Is the question about security? I think it is more than that. I think I follow what you also follow. This is a simple thing. If I were Rwanda I would interest in helping those who want to bring change in Uganda. The laws are clear, the problems we have, used to be between us and Kenya to the extent of deploying soldiers at the border. We had the same with Tanzania. This is the problem of leadership.”

He went on to say: “ Let me tell you what I want to continue putting out: there is no enough intelligence done. If there was enough intelligence done and I continue to tell whoever on the conflicting sides; if you are not strong in intelligence; If you do not develop your intelligence system as required, give it the capacity to know what is true or not, you end up always in conflicts.”

Gen Tumukunde said he did not want to involve himself in those problems. That he was not in government and did not want to be government spokesman.

Tumukunde’s lawyer, Alex Luganda, while commenting on his arrest said that his client did not involve Rwanda in the problems of Uganda.

He said: “Basing on what he said over NBS on 4th March, where he said if he were Rwanda he would help those who are for change in Uganda. He did not forment war at all. It is the Police trumping up charges.’

Tumukunde the great friend of Kayumba Nyamwasa

Rtd Lt Gen Tumukunde was up to 2018, minister of internal security. Kayumba Nyamwasa fled Rwanda when he was a darling of the Uganda Army.

Gen Tumukunde cultivated a strong bond with Kayumba and all his plans were made known to him. Word had it the intelligence of Rwanda got conversations that transpired between him and Kayumba confirming how much close they were.

In the court case involving the Rwandan Rutagungira René, who was a prisoner in Uganda, the name of Gen Tumukunde was echoed by Rutangungura’s lawyer, Aaron Kizza. He openly showed how Tumukunde then ministers in charge of security, tortured him so as to agree he had colluded with Gen Kale Kayihura in abducting some Rwandans living in Uganda.

At the time Kizza told the court: “Who told you there are big names to me that I can not mention them? If my client tells me Brig Kandiho and Gen Tumukunde tortured him and imprisoned him contrary to the law in Mbuya military prison, so as to implicate Gen Kayihura and President Kagame.”

That in July 2019, Tumukunde was heard tarnishing Rwanda, saying Kayihura worked for Rwanda. That Rwanda interfered with the sovereignty of Uganda without giving evidence at all.

At the time he also said, “We taught Rwanda how to respect Uganda.”

Although there is now bad blood between Tumukunde and Museveni, they are related as Museveni’s wife is a cousin to Tumukunde.

Before being arrested on Thursday, 24th February 2020, Museveni had ordered he be deprived of the security personnel he had. It was immediately affected and hence the man of 61 years of age lost the security of 10 military men.

In the interview on NBS, Tumukunde blamed Museveni for what he did, saying it was not clear how he and his children had security and a General like him who fought for the country to the extent of getting injured on the leg didn’t. He emphasized should he get in trouble Museveni should be held accountable.

Gen Tumukunde becomes the second General, after Gen Kayihura, to be imprisoned on charges where Rwanda name the neighboring country’s affairs.

Rtd Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde is a former minister in charge of security in Uganda.