“Maybe this is the last time some of us have to try the option of voting. Besigye gave up and I am sure we are going to join him soon… because you can look at the trends,” Gen. Henry Tumukunde said during a campaign rally at Soroti Mayor’s Gardens on Sunday.
Much as he did not elaborate on what is up his sleeves, the Independent presidential candidate has throughout his campaigns in the Teso sub-region has sent a message likening next year’s general elections to the 1980 election which led him into joining President Yoweri Museveni to launch an armed rebellion against the late Apollo Milton Obote’s government.
Museveni participated in the 1980 elections as the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) presidential flag bearer. Unlike Museveni who categorical on militarily fighting the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) for rigging the 1980 elections, Tumukunde remained vague on his next course of action much as he told his audiences that the trends show that the January 14, 2021, presidential poll has already been rigged in Museveni’s favour.
“Kwanini munatuchezea kwa kichwa?” the former Security minister wondered in Kiswahili meaning, “Why are you playing with our heads?”
“The truth is we are the ones who helped Museveni to come to power, but, for all the time I have sat with him, I have never heard him say when he intends to leave the State House,” Museveni’s former spymaster said.
Tumukunde fell out with Museveni in 2005 when he, as Army MP, opposed the amendment of the Constitution to remove the presidential terms. Before that, he had headed the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) which was later renamed Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI). He also served as director-general of the Internal Security Organisation (ISO).
“When I opposed him, he jailed me for eight years. Read your history very well and get to understand what you are dealing with,” Tumukunde said.
They mended fences in the run-up to the 2016 elections when Museveni deployed him to neutralise former Prime Minister, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi who was interested in replacing Museveni at State House.
Tumukunde was to be rewarded with an appointment as Security minister in the post 2016 election cabinet but for one and a half years before he got sacked in March 2018.
The former Museveni associate said that after 35 years in power, there is not much Museveni can do for the country.
“What are these yellow guys telling you that what they have not done in 35 years [can do it now]? Don’t mix up your vote, time has come when we must have change in Uganda.”