Former security Minister Retired Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde has officially announced he will contest for president in the forthcoming 2021 election.
Tumukunde said he will run on the “Independent ticket” under the platform known as Renewed Uganda.
The campaign will run under the slogan, ‘It is possible (kisoboka).’
“We shall put the slogan in other languages. I want us now to have identity and to have where we belong and we have to work hard to do this. I sincerely hope that Ugandans from all walks of life will join us in building the Uganda we need because it is possible, kisoboka,” he said.
The former spy chief made the pronouncement on Wednesday at his office premises in Kololo, a leafy Kampala suburb.
Tumukunde, who in 2016 was Museveni’s chief campaigner, had tried to rally other political leaders to unite behind a joint candidate against his former boss.
He will need to do more considering other leading contenders including Bobi Wine, Mugisha Muntu and Museveni are leading in poll ratings.
Tumukunde also unveiled his campaign team of people from all sub regions of Uganda such as Acholi, Lango, Teso, Karamoja, Sebei, Bukedi, Bugisu, Busoga, Greater Mukono, Mubende, Kigezi, Luweero, Mpigi, Masaka, Wakiso, Kampala, Tororo, Rwenzori and Ankole that will canvass their areas for votes.
“I would want to give you gazetted assurance that we are organized. That’s not in doubt and we are touching the ordinary Ugandan who gives a vote,” he said.
Tumukunde also said he will put emphasis on youth and women, saying adding he chose today for his campaign launch because it’s an International Youth Day.
“I want to tell you that we chose this day deliberately with all the inconveniences that this was the right day and we therefore pronounce ourselves categorically and strictly to the youth of the Republic of Uganda and we shall give them sufficient attention as the case so requires. I will give focus, attention to the young people of Uganda, to the women of Uganda and to the disadvantaged Ugandans,” he said.
Gen. Henry Tumukunde arrives at his office in Kololo. He is set to unveil a pressure group "a renewed Uganda, it is possible."
The group will hunt for his votes in the 2021 presidential election.#ChimpReportsNews #UGVotes2021 @Tumukunde_
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— ChimpReports (@ChimpReports) August 12, 2020
“Do not underestimate the role of women. I want to ask all of you, you don’t have to highlight it the way people do it for purposes of politics. For me I feel it, I have lived it. I know what it means to have favor and care of a woman who sometimes is running everything on her own,” he said.
Single mothers, widows women with disabilities, he said, will not be left behind “because they matter.”
Tumukunde said the current government has done something but not enough.
“I do not want to be one of those who imagine that nothing has been done in this country. Something has been done but the revolution lost its way and we are here to put the revolution back on the right lane,” said Tumukunde who fought in the NRA war that brought Museveni to power.
“And that’s why for us in our thinking and proper appreciation of the situation, we shall not only renew the situation, we shall not necessarily invent the situation. A renewed Uganda is because we appreciate that something has been done,” he said.
Tumukunde was recently jailed after saying if he were Rwanda, he would take interest in the removal of the ruling party from power.
Many saw the remarks inviting a foreign country to take interest in Uganda’s domestic affairs as treasonous considering the sour relations between the two countries.
Tumukunde, however, noted that he is not part of those who are pessimistic.
“I want to give every evidence that we can indeed change this situation come 2021 despite all the pressures to do scientific elections. I have every belief except if we find that we cannot operate at all. I want to inform all of you that we shall come together and cause change. Anyone of you who doubts it, today is the day.”
Tumukunde also pledged to tackle youth unemployment, mechanise agriculture and fight corruption.
Some of the aspirants who have picked nomination forms from the Electoral Commission for president include Hon. Kyagulanyi Sentamu Robert of the National Unity Platform, John Herbert Nkangabwa, Ms. Elizabeth Lugudde Katwe, Dr. Joel Ssekimpi, Mr Charles Kafeero Mutasa, Mr Edward Niyonzima, Mr Godwin Ssempebwa Batuwadde, Mr Ainebyoona Auna and Mr Simon Ebetu.