President Yoweri Museveni has said former Security Minister, General Elly Tumwine died of lung cancer.
Tumwine was pronounced dead on Thursday morning at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.
“With deep sorrow, I announce the death of General Elly Tumwiine which occurred at 5:46am this morning in Nairobi, from lung cancer,” Museveni said.
“According to his widow, with whom I have just talked to on the telephone, Gen. Tumwiine was now 68 years old. I had taught him at Burunga Primary School in 1967, after our A-levels, as a student teacher, before going to university, later that year.”
Gen Tumwine joined FRONASA with 9000 others in 1979, went to Monduli Military School in Tanzania and was the one who fired the first shot on the 6th February 1981, at Kabamba, at the beginning of the 1981-1986 war of Resistance.
Since that time, Gen Tumwiine has been part of the leadership of the NRA- UPDF as well as serving the government in various capacities. Those capacities included being Army- Commander, member of the High Command, Director-General of Intelligence, Minister of Security, etc.
Museveni described Tumwine as a dedicated and hard-working cadre. “He has been a dedicated and hard-working cadre. More will be said about him later. Condolences to his family, to the NRA-UPDF- NRM fraternity and to all Ugandans,” Museveni said.
In 1981, when Museveni went to the bush after the 1980 elections to form the National Resistance Army (NRA), Tumwine went with him and he fired the first bullet in the NRA which propelled the NRA and National Resistance Movement into power. During the fighting between the NRA and the UNLA, Tumwine sustained facial injuries that led to loss of sight in one eye.
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.