Brig. Tumukunde sentenced to serious warning

SIGH OF RELIEF: Brig. Tumukunde at court moments after the judgment. Photo by Abubaker Lubowa

Brig. Henry Tumukunde, the former Internal Security Organisation chief, was Thursday sentenced to severe reprimand after being found guilty of conduct prejudicial to good conduct and discipline of the army.

Severe reprimand means serious caution where the convict is warned against committing similar crime in future.

However, the Military Court Martial that was chaired by Brig. Fred Tolit dismissed charges of spreading harmful propaganda against Brig. Tumukunde.

Brig. Tumukunde survived being dismissed from the army because an officer convicted of conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline of the army is liable to dismissal with disgrace from the forces, according to the UPDF Act, 2005.

This means he is still a member of the UPDF and he retains his rank.

The charges for which he was arraigned in court on May 30, 2005 are in connection with a 2005 radio talk show he participated in. He allegedly criticised President Yoweri Museveni’s leadership and the move, then, by the ruling National Resistance Movement, to amend the 1995 Constitution that deleted presidential term limits.

Court heard that the then head of Internal Security Organisation, without authorisation from appropriate authorities, appeared on Radio One talk show hosted by Mr David Mushabe and uttered statements prejudicial to discipline and order of the army.

The case has dragged for eight years.

For this period, Brig. Tumukunde, a former close confidant and in-law of President Museveni, has not travelled beyond Kampala without seeking permission from the military, one of the conditions set against him by the force.

After the session, Brig. Tumukunde who avoided journalists entered a waiting car and sped off as a group of sympathisers jubilated outside court.

Who is Tumukunde?

He is a senior army officer as seen by his army number 0111. After the NRA captured power in 1986, Tumukunde was promoted to the rank of Major and appointed first secretary and military attache’ at the Uganda Embassy in Britain.

He attended a Command and Staff course in Kaduna, Nigeria. When he returned home, he was appointed the army’s Director of Planning.

A Makerere University trained lawyer, Brig. Tumukunde was a member of the Constituent Assembly which formulated the 1995 Constitution.