Presidential aspirant Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde has petitioned the High Court for orders restraining the police from arresting or detaining him over charges connected to his recent involvement with army veterans.
The suit followed the police’s summoning of the former Security Minister to appear before detectives at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) headquarters at Kibuli.
According to Tumukunde, the summonses issued by the CID chief, Grace Akullo, tantamount to a violation of his constitutional right to liberty and freedom of expression. He is also concerned about his looming arrest based on the August 17, 2020, summonses that he says don’t specify whether he is to appear as a suspect or witness.
“The CID is investigating allegations to the effect that, on several occasions, at your office and residence both in Kololo and other locations with in the country, you have held meetings with army veterans discussing issues related to politics,” the summons read.
Through his lawyers led by Anthony Wameli, Tumukunde contends that after receiving the summons, he sent one of his lawyers, Friday Roberts Kagoro to Akullo to establish the reasons for the summons, but the lawyer was instead made to attend a meeting involving police and military officers.
He identifies some of the officers who attended the meeting as Brigadier Christopher Damulira, the UPDF deputy legal officer, Col. Moses Wandera and director of army prosecutions Lt. Col. Raphael Mugisha.
Tumukunde contends that he is now a civilian who isn’t subject to military law in any way, adding that he is also fully aware that involving veterans in political activities isn’t an offense.
He cites the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, which has a Veteran’s wing and involves them in political party activities. According to Tumukunde, he has been advised that the summons isn’t acceptable and is not justifiable in a free and fair society.
In the interest of promoting and protecting human rights and rule of law, Tumukunde wants court to fine government and Akullo Shs 70 million for their high handedness and breach of the law.
He also wants court to issue a permanent injunction restraining the respondents, their agents or persons acting under or in their association from further violating or threatening his rights enshrined in the constitution.
The CID spokesperson, Charles Twine, said it’s Tumukunde’s right to petition court for redress. He explains that when they summoned Tumukunde, he didn’t show up and instead sent some city lawyers who are also known as his political agents.
He explains that while at CID, the lawyers he didn’t name started campaigning for Tumukunde as well as lecture the officers on democracy.
Twine says that their position is that Tumukunde failed to honor the summons and any information he has given to court in his affidavit is mere speculation because even the lawyers he sent didn’t have any proof showing that he had instructed them to represent him.