Former security minister Maj Gen Henry Tumukunde has quietly stepped up grassroots campaigns for the position of Kampala Mayor ahead of the 2021 elections.
Tumukunde hopes to challenge the current opposition firebrand Erias Lukwago and also popular musician, Jose Chameleone.
The former spymaster, who participated in the NRA’s armed struggle as a machine gunner, recently embarked on a tour of slums in the city.
While visiting Bwaise, Tumukunde expressed shock that St James Primary School has been closed for nine years due to flooding.
“It is on such basis that I urge Ugandans to hold their leaders accountable and also demand for service delivery,” he said.
Tumukunde is known as a rabble-rouser. His clashes with President Museveni saw him spend years incarcerated at the officers’ mess.
He had earlier served as an intelligence chief, 4th Division Commander and gained considerable experience in political mobilisation during the tense 2001 elections.
The army delayed his retirement from the armed forces as his next political move could hardly be predicted.
A wealthy farmer and owner of prime property in Kampala’s leafy suburbs, Tumukunde, according to associates, intends to use his grassroots network in Kampala to overwhelm Lukwago and Chameleone.
“During his reign as security minister, Tumukunde built an intelligence network of local leaders, political mobilisers, media practitioners and even Muslim clerics,” said one of the general’s strategists.
“He operates like a guerilla.”
Tumukunde recently met Kampala Muslim Imams at Jamiyah Mosque in Namungoona.
The clerics praised Tumukunde for standing up for their rights especially during the time of Gen Kale Kayihura. Many Muslim leaders were arrested on charges related to terrorism and murder.
It is understood the Muslim clerics in the area agreed to support his cause.
Tumukunde said he was engaging Muslims and community leaders to “bridge the gap created by religion-based divisiveness over the years.”
It remains unclear whether Tumukunde will stand on the NRM ticket or run as an independent candidate.