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BIG STORY: Gen Henry Tumukunde’s Military Guards Withdrawn

Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has withdrawn Retired Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde’s guards.

Tumukunde, 61, did not respond to our calls for comment early Tuesday morning.

But close family members and associates told ChimpReports that 10 military security personnel were withdrawn on Monday evening.

“The order to withdraw guards from Gen Tumukunde’s premises in Kololo was received by his family this past weekend,” said a close aide.

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“However, Tumukunde had traveled upcountry for private business. So, at around 5:00pm yesterday (Monday), the guards loaded their belongings onto a truck and returned to the military headquarters in Bombo.”

The UPDF provides security for its serving and retired generals.

Defence spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire said he was still “crosschecking with those who provide guards” and would revert.

He was yet to call back when we posted this article.

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The decision to remove guards from Tumukunde has sparked speculation in corridors of power.

The former spy chief last year declared his intentions to stand for the position of Kampala Mayor but those who have worked with him for a long time say he has always harbored presidential ambitions.

ChimpReports broke the story of Tumukunde quietly preparing to stand for president and using the mobilisation for mayoral candidature as a smokescreen.

In response, Tumukunde said there was “nothing wrong” with having a presidential ambitions and that he had “full rights” to challenge President Museveni and other potential candidates in the 2021 general actions.

The controversial general, who led Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in the 1990s, said all Ugandans have equal rights to pursue any political position.

“What is wrong with standing for President that some people have made it a weapon to throw at others?” Tumukunde asked.

“I have seen ChimpReports put a shouting story with all my ranks that I want to become president. There is nothing wrong with standing for president,” he said.

A wealthy businessman, Tumukunde emphasized that he is also a Ugandan and automatically a “stakeholder” in everything concerning the country.

“Don’t forget I’m a Ugandan not a Kenyan. I’m an investor in the business called Uganda and with the right to participate,” he stressed.

Controversy

Tumukunde, a relative of First Lady Janet Museveni, is no stranger to controversy. His previous attempts to challenge the statusquo attracted stiff resistance from President Museveni.

On 18 April 2013, the UPDF General Court Martial sat to bring an end to the process that had lasted 8 years and summed up its deliberations.

The charge of spreading harmful propaganda was dropped while the joint charge of military misconduct was upheld and Tumukunde was subsequently sentenced to a severe reprimand.

Tumukunde was on August 30th 2015 promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and subsequently retired from the military, something he had fought for almost a decade, in a move seen as Museveni’s reconciliation action.

A Makerere University Law graduate and former combatant who fought side by side with Museveni in the NRA war, Tumukunde was made to lead Museveni’s underground team in the 2016 general election campaigns and in June the same year appointed Security Minister.

Tumukunde was however unceremoniously sacked on March 17th 2018 in a Cabinet reshuffle that also saw the removal of Gen. Kale Kayihura as Inspector General of Police.

The two generals’ public fights had enraged the appointing authority and startled the nation.

Tumukunde’s tone during a television show last year exhibited soft anger towards the system under Museveni.

Tumukunde previously served as the UPDF’s chief of personnel and administration, chief of military intelligence as well the commanding officer of the UPDF Fourth Division, based in Gulu in the Northern Region of Uganda.

Tumukunde, who previously served as the UPDF’s chief of personnel and administration, chief of military intelligence as well the commanding officer of the UPDF Fourth Division, based in Gulu in the Northern Region of Uganda

He also was appointed director general of the Internal Security Organisation (ISO).

Tumukunde was also a Member of Parliament representing the Army in the Parliament of Uganda between 1995 and 2005.[

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