The state has asked court not to release former Security Minister Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde on bail because it will cause a threat to national security.
Tumukunde last month asked court to release him on bail so that he can resume with consultations for his presidential bid as well as to be able to fend for his family since he is their sole bread winner.
However, in response to the former spymaster’s bail application, Senior Superintendent of Police, Richard Mugwisagye, the officer in charge of investigations in Tumukunde’s case says the offences are critical to national security and his release is a potential threat to national stability.
“The nature of offence for which the applicant is charged is critical to national security of Uganda and substantially affects diplomatic relations between Uganda and Rwanda. Investigations into the matter are in their infancy and they touch on relations with a foreign country as well as involve interviewing witnesses and visiting scenes,” the police investigator says.
“The investigations into the matter require non-interference and given that the personnel in security have previously been answerable to the applicant in various capacities and the influential status he still wields, his release would be a great hindrance to the progress of investigations.”
The state therefore avers that releasing Lt.Gen.Tumukunde on bail would interfere with investigations which would put national security into jeopardy since he has ever been a commander of the UPDF fourth division in Gulu, former army MP and former Internal Security Organisation chief.
“The offences for which the applicant is charged are critical to national security and his release is a potential threat to national stability. Investigations also involve the forensic examination and analysis of several devices used in electronic communications such as mobile phones and computers that are very easy to tamper with.”
In his bail application through his lawyers of Wameli and Company Advocates, the former spymaster says he is a law abiding citizen who will not jump bail if granted to him by the High Court.
“I am a presidential aspirant for the forthcoming general elections and have accordingly submitted my notifications to the Electoral Commission and I am in the process of commencing my countrywide consultations in preparations for the elections,” Tumukunde says in his affidavit.
“I am committed to attend court at all times if granted bail and I have substantial sureties who have undertaken and will ensure that I attend court at all times as required by this honorable court and abide by the terms.”
However, in its response to Tumukunde’s bail application, the state says the former spymaster is not a clean man, having been convicted by the General Court Martial in 2013 over offences related to harmful propaganda, charges which had dragged on since 2005.
“The applicant is charged with a very serious offence of treason contrary to section 23(2)(b) of the Penal Code Act cap 120 that attracts a maximum sentence of death and the likelihood of the applicant absconding to escape the punishment in the event of conviction is high,” the state argues.
The head of the Criminal Division of the High Court, Justice Wilson Kwesiga is set to rule on the bail application on April, 14.
he state alleges that retired Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde was on the 5th day of March 2020 at Impala Avenue Kololo in the Kampala district found in possession a modified AK 47 rifle and a Star pistol without valid firearm certificates.
The state further alleges that while appearing on NBS Television in Kamwokya during the Morning Breeze show, Tumukunde made utterances that if he was Rwanda, he would wish to cause change in Uganda.
According to the state, these statements were aimed at instigating Rwanda to overthrow the Ugandan government.