Following a verbal attack by Security Minister, Gen. Elly Tumwine on his junior Lt. Gen. Charles Angina in public, over the latter’s involvement in a land wrangle between businessman Godfrey Kirumira and his neighbour, a historic UPDF General has come out to blame Gen. Tumwine saying that he acts before he thinks and that he was under the influence Kirumira, a civilian.
“He, Tumwine should have listened to Angina. Anyway, he was under the influence of Kirumira and you know very well that Tumwine acts before he thinks. How could he say ‘our army’ when the officer you are demeaning is a former deputy CDF?” The General said.
The General, who also happens to be a minister in President’s Museveni’s Cabinet, when asked about Gen. Tumwine’s mistreatment of the former deputy Chief of Defence Forces Angina, said that Gen. Tumwine should have raised the issue of Angina with the UPDF High Command, but not shouting at a commissioned officer in public like he did, adding that such behaviour exhibited by Gen. Tumwine is unpleasant to the UPDF.
“From the approach, it should not have been there because both Lt. Gen. Charles Angina and Gen. Elly Tumwine are senior officers but the way Tumwine conducted it, it was uncalled for,” the concerned General said. “If he had summoned Gen. Angina aside and Angina refused that could have explained the reprimand but it is an unfortunate incident,” he added.
Asked how the UPDF High Command and the Commander in Chief who is President Yoweri Museveni would handle the case, the General said, “I would love to see how the Commander In Chief will handle. How can you just shout at a former Deputy Chief of Defence Forces as if you shouting at a child but even a child deserves respect?”
Currently Angina is the deputy Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), a poverty eradication campaign which is headed by Museveni’s brother Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh and he is one of the UPDF senior officers that are slated to steer the force as its historical retire.
Gen. Tumwine’s attack on Angina has not been received well in his homeland of Teso. an NRM stronghold and was instrumental in the fight against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Armey (LRA) as the region’s politicians like flight Capt. Mike Mukula and Musa Ecweru formed the famous Arrow Boys who alongside, the UPDF chased Joseph Kony and his men from the region.
Capt. Mukula, a prominent politician from the region and a diehard of the NRM who doubles as Eastern Region chairman for the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party when asked about the incident, said Tumwine was wrong to attack Gen. Angina in the way he did. “It was not properly done. The UPDF is now a mature army. It has systems. Nobody can abuse an army anymore. And therefore, someone saying that they are using the army is not true.”
He went on to say: “UPDF is a disciplined army. It has a standing framework and if someone is found to be undisciplined why not summon him? The decorum of a person of Angina who rose to a level of a General has attained a status. Call that person in private or summon him in UPDF structures.”
Mukula said senior officers of UPDF with the characters akin to Tumwine’s should learn from Museveni who he said is the founder of UPDF. “They should learn from the founder of UPDF who is none other than Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He has never reprimanded an officer in public. He has worked with opponents; from Aggrey Awori, Moses Ali and Ali Bamwoze. However, it is an individual mistake and he, Tumwine, should carry his cross but he should not attribute it to UPDF.”
An opposition politician Eagle Online talked to about Tumwine’s attack on Angina said: “General Tumwine thinks he is the powerful UPDF officer. He should know that man rises and man falls. His time to fall is not far from now. Ask those who behaved that way in the past regimes. Where are they?”
Gen. Tumwine prides himself for being the NRA soldier who first fired a bullet when they attacked Kabamba Barracks in Mubende in hunt for guns. It is said Gen. Museveni wanted to reprimand him as it was supposed to be an undercover mission.
Gen. Tumwine has been accused in the past for drawing a pistol towards Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah while the latter was still in opposition political UPC. He is alleged to have done the same to Dokolo Woman Member of Parliament Cecilia Ogwal.
His fellow minister Sarah Opendi recently referred to Gen. Tumwine as a “bully” as she appeared before the disciplinary committee of parliament to give evidence against Tumwine over his behaviour.
Tumwine has always reminded Ugandans that he and other senior officers went to bush to fight so-called bad governments and tat therefore, they deserve recognition and respect.
The General is said to be holding on Nomm Gallery, a government owned property, despite calls to vacate it. It is said government demands him over Shs30 billion for occupying that facility for years.
The Nommo Gallery was founded and established in 1964 by the 1959 Act of Parliament, and is Uganda’s National Art Gallery and a component of the Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC). The Nommo Gallery is supposed to feature exhibitions of works of art by both Ugandan and foreign artists.
Eagle Online could not reach UPDF Spokesperson Brig. Richard Karemire for a comment as his known cellphone numbers were switched off.