Gen. Elly Tumwine, who is one of the officers who are set to be retired from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has said that they will continue to be servants of this country noting that there is no way a revolutionary will just stop.
Speaking at the sidelines of the retirement function held at Ministry of Defence headquarters in Mbuya, Tumwine said that despite his retirement, he would like to emulate the Commander-in-Chief President Museveni who has continued to serve the country despite having retired many years ago.
“We have seen other people who have retired. One of the best examples of people who have retired is our President Museveni. Didn’t he retire? But he has never become tired. He may have even worked more after retirement. So, we are not going anywhere,” Tumwine said.
He said that to be retired from UPDF is like a thank you token for the services he has rendered to the Ugandan army and that doesn’t stop the retired military officers from preaching the revolutionary values they fought for.
“Only, we are being recognised that thank you for having served, let others serve. There’s no way a revolutionary, someone who went for a good cause will just say there is a time when you are cut off,” he said.
“We are going to do even much more with even more freedom, with even more time. I can assure you this is a great day of saying, my institution is giving me a send-off officially, open and public for everyone to know we ran our race, completed our course and we are ready to go,” he said.
Tumwine observed that he retired a happy man after having fulfilled most of his goals and attributed this to God. “Even if I die now, what has God not done for me? What more can God do to prove that he loves me a lot?” he wondered.
Gen Tumwine’s military career
Gen Tumwine joined the military in 1978 after interrupting his teaching career to join the FRONASA forces led by Museveni.
In 1981, when Museveni went to the bush to form the National Resistance Army (NRA), Tumwine went with him and is reported to have fired the first shot in the NRA which propelled the NRA and National Resistance Movement into power.
In 1984, he was named Commander of the Army, a post he held for three years until 1987, when he was succeeded by General Salim Saleh.
In September 2005, he was promoted to the rank of general in the UPDF and chair of the UPDF General Court Martial.
During his career, he has also held various positions including; Minister of State for Defence in 1989, Director General of the External Security Organization (ESO) from 1994 until 1996, Presidential Adviser from 1996 until 1998, Chairman of the High Command Appeals Committee from 1986 until 1999.
Tumwine has also previously represented the UPDF in the Parliament.