Presidential aspirant and former spy chief, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde has on Saturday said that if opposition lines up a joint candidate in the 2021 elections, he will be ready to support that chosen candidate.
Appearing on BBS TV, Tumukunde noted that the joint opposition candidate doesn’t need to be him.
“If opposition sits down and endorses a joint opposition candidate, I am ready to stand behind him. I repeat, if we all agree and endorse a joint opposition candidate, I will stand behind him. I want it to be on record,” he said.
“Even if that candidate is not me. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, I will be ready,” he added.
Asked why most of the high profile presidential aspirants hail from one region of the country, Tumukunde controversially replied, “let me ask you, why is it that all those who don’t want the presidency are from one region? All of them don’t want to hear about the presidency. They come from the same region which is not far from you,” he told the program host.
Tumukunde had earlier hinted on some powerful names in Buganda including Buganda Kingdom Premier Charles Peter Mayiga and Apollo Makubuya.
On the issue of why he kept on getting military promotions despite his differences with the Commander in Chief, President Museveni, Tumukunde said he was hatching a plan that would convince Museveni to retire him from the military.
In 2005, Tumukunde, then Brigadier, and Col Fred Bogere as army representatives in Parliament were in the spotlight for refusing to vote in favor of the controversial legislation that lifted the presidential term limits which made President Museveni continue leading Uganda.
Tumukunde was asked why he kept on getting military promotions until he was retired at the rank of Lieutenant General and appointed Minister and yet Bogere remained on the rank of Colonel and thrown out of Parliament.
In response, Tumukunde said, “I was hatching a plan to be retired from the army. Col Bogere is alive and I don’t want to speak for him. I was jailed, Col Bogere was not. We said the same thing.”
Meanwhile, Tumukunde doubted the credibility of the Electoral Commission saying that decisions made at the Commission are not independent.
He was referring to the Electoral Commission’s Friday pronouncement that “candidates may organise/ hold regulated campaign meetings” contrary to previous guideline that all campaign rallies are banned in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
“I ask myself, who makes these decisions. I thought it should be Parliament to amend the laws. If you are a candidate and you make decisions for elections, 1980 is here again,” he said.
It was in 1980 when President Museveni, then under Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) political party lost an election won by Dr Apollo Milton Obote of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) in which Museveni was not contented with the outcome of the vote that he took up arms and waged a guerilla war against Obote’s government.
Museveni captured power in 1986.
Tumukunde said that people must protect their vote and warned that failure to do so, they will continue getting similar results, putting Museveni in the lead.
“If you tell them (people) to go to COVID-19 lockdown for 2 months, they are ready, if you tell them to guard their election, they say, how do I gain?” Tumukunde posed.