Tumukunde cries out on UPDF ranks

Saturday July 20 2013

Former Internal Security Organisation chief Henry Tumukunde

Former Internal Security Organisation chief Henry Tumukunde. The Brigadier, who was sentenced to severe reprimand over indiscipline, has criticised the procedure used to promote army officers in the UPDF. PHOTO BY JOSEPH KIGGUNDU 

By Alfred Tumushabe, Perez Rumanzi and Risdel Kasasira

Three months after the Military Court Martial sentenced him to severe reprimand over indiscipline, former Internal Security Organisation boss Henry Tumukunde has cried out over procedures used to promote military officers.
Brig Tumukunde told mourners in Rukungiri District at the burial of John Wilson Nsheka, 94, the father of several former UPDF officers and foster parent of UPDF renegade Samson Mande, that he has stayed in the same rank for a decade now yet some army officers get rapid promotions. P.3

“I served as a division commander and headed ISO but I have remained on the rank for more than 10 years. Yet, those who have served in the army for 10 years have been promoted to the same rank and above,” Brig Tumukunde said.

“This government has a problem of not recognising people when they are still alive,” he adds.

However, the UPDF chief political commissar, Col Felix Kulayigye, said Brig Tumukunde should not have expected to be promoted because he was on trial.

“Did he expect to be promoted in 10 years of which eight he was on trial? Does he want to say that by the time he became brigadier, he was the most senior officer at that time?” Col Kulayigye asked.
“There were officers who were colonels when he was a major and he was promoted to brigadier when they were still at the same rank. Why didn’t he complain?” Col Kulayigye asked.

On April 18, the General Court Martial sentenced Brig Tumukunde to severe reprimand after it found him guilty of conduct prejudicial to good conduct.

His troubles followed his appearance on a radio talk show in 2005 where he uttered statements prejudicial to discipline and order of the army.

Brig Tumukunde’s remarks came at a time when Brig Nakibus Lakara, who has stayed on the same rank for 12 years, was appointed the 3rd Division commander, a junior position to Chief of Staff, which he held from 2001 to 2003.

But Col Kulayigye denied the reports.

Army speaks
“A revolutionary army deploys its cadres as and when it deems fit and where it finds it useful,” he said.
Brig Tumukunde said the late Nsheka should have been given a medal in recognition for his contribution in “liberating” Uganda.
“History should be written as it is, not picking some and leaving others,” he said.

State minister for Public Service Seith Mbaguta, who delivered President Museveni’s speech, described the deceased as a “true NRM cadre”.

The deputy army spokesperson, Maj Robert Ngabirano, said the army promotions depend on the courses attended, performance, discipline and existing gaps in manpower.

Recent promotions in both command and staff positions

New appointments. President Museveni last month promoted several senior army officers and appointed Gen Katumba Wamala Chief of Defence Forces, replacing Gen Aronda Nyakairima who has been the longest-serving army commander in the history of UPDF. Gen Nyakairima was on Thursday approved by MPs as Internal Affairs Minister.
Presidential defence: The President reportedly defended his decision to promote young officers to command level, arguing there is need to infuse young blood into the army leadership.

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