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Making sense of Tumukunde’s cryptic mission



Gen Tumukunde

At the age of 22, Henry Tumukunde joined the NRA bush war in 1981, just months after his University studies. For an LLB holder, joining a group that was described as a bandit could never have been the best option without a peculiar agenda.

I am not part of the gullible class to believe Tumukunde just joined the “struggle” only to have Obote dictatorship down and maybe have Museveni enthroned for life. When he was shot at to near death in 1985, that would have been reason enough for any normal human being who had fought a four year unending war to call it quits but The Major (then) surprised his fellow combatants by  rejoining the frontline after treatment.

The Museveni I know couldn’t have permitted a man he knows is fighting him (clandestinely) to rise in the NRA ranks (not anywhere) like it was for Tumukunde probably he didn’t know, otherwise he (HT) wouldn’t have been appointed military attache to the UG-UK embassy and consequently cleared for a Command and Staff course in the military college of Kaduna Nigeria where he emerged among the best students in 1992 that followed his appointment as the NRA director of Planning.

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Did Tumukunde hoodwink Tibuhaburwa or Tibu just didn’t know the HT he was dealing with? Not unexpectedly, Sevo was again surprised at TUMUKUNDE’s Rubabu county representative race which his junior won, defeating Prof. Mondo Kagonyera. He wanted to reverse the irreversible, he questioned the source of his permission to stand as a Constituent Assembly (CA) representative/delegate but had no justifiable means to revoke the Bakiga choice.

He was elected army representative, a position that catalyzed the sourness of his relationship with his Commander in Chief  (CIC).

Tumukunde utilized this position to the maximum to distance himself from the atrocities of his 25 year establishment.  I think this is why in 2003 he openly rebuked his boss at a political retreat where the idea of amending the constitution to have term limits scrapped off was birthed.

He is on record to have told his Commander In Chief and the entire cabinet that it was against the same injustices that they (NRA) rebelled against Milton Obote dictatorship and them (HT and friends like Mugisha Muntu, Sserwanga Lwanga etc) joined them, to have a better Uganda.

Much as he was ever opposing (openly and secretly) the warlord during the bush war, this was the sharpest open rebuke Museveni had ever faced from any of his war comrades. This cost him his parliamentary seat as army rep and then detained at the officer’s mess for close to one and a half years. The detention was sparked off by a CBS radio talk-show in 2005 where he again opposed the planned “Kisanja project” (this time in public).

He was out of deployment (katebe) for close to 10 years until June 2015 when John Patrick Amama Mbabazi (JPAM) announced to stand against Mr Kaguta.

Any serviceman will tell you that the worst buoy of the career is when you are not deployed; imagine this for 10 years, one is better off being retired.

As usual, Museveni went panicky at hearing the Mbabazi declaration. He immediately called everyone he thought would find a solution to what he termed as a “situation” only to be saved by Kasule Lumumba and Gen. Salim Saleh his brother, who both suggested it would be Tumukunde and him alone to manage the “situation”.

Now the biggest conundrum for the troika was how to convince the naturally stubborn disgruntled Brigadier General who was dishonorably sent to unofficial retirement.

Kasule Lumumba suggested she could talk to Brigadier’s friend Salaamu Musumba who would later secure her an appointment which happened at a certain hotel in Nakasero a day later.

Kasule, Musumba and Kakurugu talked for about two hours where Kasule apologized on behalf of Museveni for the unfair treatment he exposed him to for philosophical and ideological differences, and that they now wanted to have him back in action.

Tumukunde accepted to meet the president the following day where they discussed at length about his new mission and HT’s conditions to acceptance. A single day wasn’t enough, the following day they had to meet again and it was agreed that he, Tumukunde, would be retired from the army and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General skipping Major General, and even be appointed Minister.

Having sealed the deal, HT embarked on his almost buried big dream.

In one of the meetings, he is remembered to have told his new teammates that then was the time for them to utilize the second chance rendered and have themselves to the top of the castle.  He mobilized countrywide in the fight against JPAM’s Go-Forward until when his boss envied him. Consequently, like always, his influence was tamed by cutting off the ministry funding. His tenure as Security Minister was shone out by his public announcement of the mistakes committed by top ranking government officials, which was interpreted by many as fight against the big man.

Months later, he declared that he was to ‘run as the Capital City Lord Mayor’ which was certainly a decoy.  Months later, he declared the real deal, directly opposing his former boss, Gen Tibu.

Against this background, I was triggered to dig deeper in available facts to find out what Tumukunde was and is about, why in the first place he joined the NRA bush war, why presented a great performance therein and why he bore all the challenges faced.

Is it just coincidental that a 22 year old qualified lawyer decided to join a war whose success wasn’t a sure deal (to not even the chief warlord)?

Was it timely for him at just a rank of Colonel to fallout with his commanders or a mistake?

Was the so called harmful propaganda he spread (as the charge sheet stated in 2005) strategic or just a mere gaffe?

Was bearing all those 18 or so months at the officer’s mess detention and the humiliation attached defensible or indefensible?

How about his 2015 come back? Why would he accept a call on by his tormentors, people that had almost ruined his career?

Okay, all this is about opposing the establishment but why would a senior officer of his rank, intelligence, exposure and respect risk further humiliation from his all-time bully by participating in an election he is sure he can (maybe) win but never declared winner? Why would he use that strategy?

Another million dollar question is why does he seem un-bothered about the low media coverage of his campaign activities preferring more clandestine mobilisation to the usual fanfare of Presidential campaigns designed to impress the TV watching audience?

Again, I am not that gullible to think he is here to just participate in the exercise and just let go, just like that? No way.

I think Tumukunde used the “second chance” given to him by the “merciful dictator” in 2015 to mobilize countrywide for his presidential bid and this isn’t something Museveni can smoothly swallow.  The smooth operator that Tumukunde is used his tormentor’s resources to mobilize against him.

I am inclined to believe that what Tumukunde is doing now is to awaken the already mobilized support for the big office. He is reminding them of their already discussed deal. Remember during his days as the CMI and ISO boss, he was regarded to as the custodian of quality coordination, probably this too was strategic.

He might have joined the bush war with a prime intention of becoming president of Uganda someday. Today, he is to accomplish his cryptic mission and I doubt if he is counting on Byabakama’s predictable announcement.


The writer, Daniel Bright Byansi B. is a Comrade in the struggle and a keen Tumukunde watcher

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Making sense of a thick neck Museveni cabinet




President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni



A thick neck isn’t defined by a certain measurement. Rather, it’s measured in proportion to the rest of your body in terms of height, weight, and composition.

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Accordingly, the same description can be said of the latest cabinet reshuffle by President Yoweri Museveni.

The naming of former Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence operative and a one term Education Minister Maj. Jessica Alupo, Vice President and Robinah Nabanja, the Kakumiro district Woman Member of Parliament as Prime Minister perfectly suits the above description.

Politically both ladies are suitable for their positions but will they match the game of the day?  A quick look at Maj. Alupo, she has been politically struggling to make a return from political oblivion after she was beaten by Violet Akurut who defeated in 2016 Katakwi district Woman seat, Alupo, apart from her spying skills, she hasn’t gained much experience that comes with job of Vice President. Yes, she could be loyal to her party but in terms of real state craft, Alupo can’t match the likes of Prof. Gilbert Bukenya and Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe. In picking Maj. Alupo, Museveni could have wanted to deflate Busoga politics by bringing in a Catholic and from Teso also in Eastern Region since the Teso overwhelming voted for him. Anyway, that said but what is the job of VP? And perhaps President Museveni wanted amuse the Iteso with presidency convoy that comes with VP status as described by Maj. John Kazoora in his book.

President Museveni talking to Akurut and Alupo at his campaign in Katakwi last year. (Picture by Godfrey Ojore /NV)

Enters Robinah Nabanja, the Kakumiro/ Kibaale iron lady, is a loyal servant of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) having started as a mobilizer, Resident District Commission to Member of Parliament, State Minister of Health in Charge of General Duties and now Prime Minister.

Nabanja is assertive and a go-getter. She is a mobilizer but little is known about her in matters of boardroom politics. The Office of the Prime is the second highest department in government after presidency, it is vital and coordinates key ministries and government agencies and therefore, with Nabanja being named PM, will she be up to the task given that the office she is given needs someone of a critical thinker and a leader?

The PM is the leader of government business in parliament and is mandated to coordinate all government interests. The previous PMs that have served in the same position have proven that indeed one must be equal to the task as demonstrated by late Prof. Apolo Nsibambi, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi and Ruhakana Rugunda. But it is never too late, let’s accord PM Nabanja her time.


Rebecca Kadaga as 1st Deputy PM and Busoga politics

Rebecca Kadaga

The former Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has been nominated as 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs. She takes over the affairs of the East African region. The slot of 1st Deputy Minister has been unoccupied with Ministry of East Affairs being run separately. She is deputy to Nabanja. However, her appointment is surprising given that she is a former Speaker, could it be that it was her own downplaying of VP position that Museveni didn’t name her VP?

Still in Busoga, Museveni named former Gender State Minister Lukia Isanga Nakadama as 3rd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Without Portfolio, she replaces late Kirunda Kivejinja a fellow Muslim. She is from the greater Iganga district and has wide network of Muslim networks. Political experts believe that the reentry of Isanga to cabinet as 3rd Deputy Prime Minister was to balance the politics of day given that Kadaga who previously served as Speaker had been reduced to 1st Deputy PM and remains a popular figure in the region.

Busoga further saw the entry of NRM Secretary General Justine Lumumba as Minister of General Duties office of the Prime Minister, Mariam Dhoka Babalanda as Minister of Presidency replacing a fellow Musoga Esther Mbayo.

Lukia Isanga Nakadama


Sanctions/ ICC factor and historical factors


With reported Untied States travel and economic sanctions looming on heads of individuals that were listed by United States government, President Yoweri Museveni hasn’t taken a gamble with those threats. And that is why is so.

General Elly Tumwine the outgoing Secretary Minister is among the names that were listed as to have violated rights of Ugandans during the just concluded elections. Coupled with arrogance in which he exhibited himself to the public, it was prudent that Museveni had to send Tumwine home though he has gone back to his docket of Senior Presidential Advisor on Security.

Gen. Elly Tumwine, security Minister.

Sam Kutesa He is another former Minister whose name has been soiled with bad scandals and publicity for a long time. Kutesa has maintained that he has been a target by his colleagues and detractors because of his closeness to the first family but that hasn’t helped as his name keep on coming in many alleged international scandals. However, sources say Kutesa had opted to retire from mainstream politics and this could be explained why he never contested for his parliamentary seat.

Sam Kutesa

Ruhakana Rugunda popularly known as Ndugu, is the outgoing PM who has finished his five years as Prime Minister smoothly. He leaves the show a clean as he came. He has been appointed as Special Envoy for Special Duties Office of the President. With Rugunda, Kutesa and Tumwine out, this leaves Museveni with only two historical in government and these are Major Generals Kahinda Otafiire incoming Internal Affairs Minister and Jim Muhwezi, Security Minister.

Former Prime Minister Dr Rugunda.


Entry of Gen. David Muhoozi the outgoing Chief of Defence Forces has been appointed new State Minister of Internal Affair, he replaces Obiga Kania who has been moved to Lands. Muhoozi’s appointment has received warm welcome among his peers who see him as clean and young man who is likely to being new energies with new strategies in government that is mostly dominated by the old guards.

Gen David Muhoozi

Muhoozi distinguished himself a strict observant of the law and that can explain why his name has never surfaced among those that violated human rights as alleged by US.


Kiryowa Kiwanuka also known as KK is another smart chap that comes in as Attorney General. He has previously played behind scenes in major legal battles regarding President Museveni and government.

Kiryowa Kiwanuka

So, the thick neck cabinet which has been named will be associated with power and strength. it is large enough but nothing much will be gotten out of it as described by the two individuals above (Vice President and Prime Minister).







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NUP endorses Nalukwago Judith as Makerere University Guild Presidential aspirant




Nalukwago Judith

The National Unity Platform (NUP) has endorsed Judith Nalukwago as Makerere University Guild Presidential aspirant.

Nalukwago was endorsed shortly after the young Makerere strike machine; Obed Obedgiu Derrick opted out of the race. Obed announced that he will not be offering himself as a candidate in the highly anticipated Mak guild elections as the new election roadmap is yet to be released.

“Salutations to you friends, I shan’t offer myself as a candidate in the forthcoming elections as was the case earlier. Thanks to all and sundry for the unwavering support,” Obed wrote on Facebook.

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Although Obed had won the flag bearer primaries early before the closure of the University due to the Covid-19 pandemic break-up, he has decided to give way to the fellow people power member Judith Nalukwago to aspire and promises undying support for her.

In a series of posts on her social media handles, Nalukwago announced that she will be running for the position of Guild President. She says that the seat of the Vice Guild President offered her an opportunity to assert her beliefs and push more for affordable education and education reforms.

“The Vice Guild Presidency presented to me a great opportunity to assert those beliefs and push more for affordable education and address systematic injustice against students in general and women in particular. This struggle is always a work in progress,” Nalukwago said.

She added, “The task before us is an uphill one, but the power of our resolve will be the steam that gets our train moving. In the coming days, I will share broadly about this noble aspiration and what I have in plan for us all.”

Makerere University might get a female guild president after seven years. Anne Adeke Ebaju is the Youth Female Representative in Parliament.

The University now has four candidates in the race; Tumusiime Joseph (independent), Ogutti Aaron (independent), Muhwezi Maczxxon (NRM) and the only lady Judith Nalukwago (NUP). However the competition is between the NRM flag bearer and the NUP aspirant as they wait for the date of 30th March to decide the new elect Guild President.

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FDC’s Ibrahim Ssemujju Declares Bid for Speakership




Kira Municipality Member of Parliament and opposition Forum for Democratic Change – FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has declared his bid to challenge incumbent Rebecca Kadaga in the race for Speaker of parliament.

Ssemujju, a vocal opposition strongman made his bid public on Tuesday March 9th while appearing on local television, NBS.

Ssemujju becomes the third person gunning for position after reports about deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya also planning to challenge his boss Kadaga.

This story is still being updated.



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