Maj. Gen. Isaac Lumago dies at Arua referral hospital

Former army Chief of Staff Major General Isaac Lumago has died. Photo by Tabu Butagira.

What you need to know:

Gen. Lumago was born in Koboko and is survived by three widows and about 30 children. Maj.Gen. Isaac Lumago in his late 60s, served as minister of Industry and power during the regime of late Idi Amin. He was then appointed as ambassador to Lesotho and accredited to seven other southern Africa countries as well as Army chief of staff among portfolios he held. During his reign, President Idi Amin promoted him several times until Lumago attained the rank of Maj. Gen. He then returned from exile in 1999 from DR Congo where he had sought refuge following the toppling of Idi Amin in 1979.

The Presidential Advisor on security in West Nile, Major General Isaac Lumago has died.

Lumago died at Arua regional referral hospital after he was admitted in the intensive care unit. According to his son, Mr Robert Yeka, he was rushed to Arua after falling sick at his home in Koboko.

He was then rushed to a clinic in Koboko town before he was referred to Arua hospital. He had been put on life support in the private wing of Arua regional referral hospital. But his condition continued to deteriorate and he died on Tuesday night. “He was put under intensive care and he was supposed to be flown to Entebbe but doctors told us that the condition could not allow travel,” his son said. Doctors suggested that he succumbed to high blood pressure.

The 409 brigade commander Lt.Col. Bernard Tuhame said they had wanted him to be flown to Kampala but doctors have advised them to at least hold on for two days as his condition was still critical. Army officers are currently locked up in a meeting discussing burial arrangements. Burial has been tentatively set for Saturday at Godia village in Midia sub-county in Koboko district.

Major Gen. Lumago was appointed a presidential advisor on security for west Nile late last year. The government had gone a step further and recognized his achievements in promoting peace and security by constructing him a house, a gesture it had previously extended to former Vice President in the Idi Amin regime, Musatafa Adrisi.

Born in 1939, the 73 year-old Lumago joined army in 1963, a year after Uganda attained independence. That year, he sent for cadet training in Khartoum. Thereafter he was appointed Major General in 1978 and became Chief of Staff. Rtd Maj Gen Yusuf Gowon, a close friend, who took also over from the late as Chief of Staff, told Daily Monitor that Lumago was a determined military man.

“He worked very well and he was a senior man who did work to the best of his knowledge. He was well trained man who exhibited professionalism that is why he is highly respected,” Gen Gowon said.

The Woman MP for Koboko, Ms Margarete Babadiri, said he was instrumental in ensuring peace and security in the district. ”He retired a dignified person because he fought for the sovereignty and protection of the country,” she said.

Fleeing Uganda upon the overthrow of President Amin in 1979, Lumago only returned from exile in 1999. He had sought refugein DR Congo.

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