Former security minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde was arrested on charges of treason according to Uganda Police Force.
Tumukunde was arrested from his home in Kololo in a joint operation conducted by the Special Forces Command- SFC, Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force – JATT, Crime Intelligence and Criminal Investigations Directorate -CID last evening.
The operation that was superintended by CID director AIGP Grace Akullo shows Tumukunde driven to CID headquarters at Kibuli where he was kept until midnight when he was reportedly dragged to Makindye Military Barracks.
Police Spokesman Fred Enanga issued a joint statement on Friday morning explaining that Tumukunde was arrested on charges of treason. Enanga said Tumukunde’s premises at Kololo are being secured to enable a search for any additional evidence of material value.
“The arrest follows his utterances in a series of radio and television interviews, which seek to foster hatred that might lead to inter-community violence, fomenting and glorifying violence in general,” Enanga said.
Security agencies also accuse Tumukunde of calling upon a neighbouring country to support him in removing the current leadership with or without the ballot.
“He is, therefore, being charged under Sections 23 (2) b and 23 (3) b, of the Penal code Act, which deals with instigating persons to invade the Republic of Uganda and inciting any persons to make a mutinous assembly,” Enanga added.
The arrest comes a week after he had notified the Electoral Commission that he will be conducting consultative meetings for his presidential bid.
Soon after declaring his intentions to challenge his former boss Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Tumukunde featured on various media houses from where he intimated that he would support groups fighting for change in Uganda if he was in one of the neighbouring countries.
Security agencies said his arrest should also act as a deterrent to others who would like to promote views that seek to naturalize violence in our country, Uganda.
“As always our number one priority is the safety and security of all Ugandans. And we would like to thank our task teams for their swift action, upon recognizing the impact of the inflammatory and provocative rhetoric by the suspect on members of the Armed forces and the wider public,” Enanga said.
In 2005, Tumukunde, then a Brigadier in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces -UPDF, was arrested on charges of spreading harmful propaganda. He spent over a year in Luzira prison and endured a trial which dragged on for more than eight years in the General Court Martial. In 2013, he was convicted and sentenced to severe reprimand.
But in 2015, Tumukunde was promoted from the rank of Brigadier to Lt Gen and retired from the UPDF. In 2016 he was appointed security minister but sacked on March 4, 2018, alongside former Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura