Former Security Minister and now Presidential advisor on security Gen Elly Tumwine has said that he will use his office to advise Museveni to prepare the country for a peaceful transition of power.
Gen Tumwine, an unlikely source of such a message was handing over office to fellow combatant Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi who succeeds him as Security Minister.
“I am happy to be handing over to Maj. Gen. Muhwezi, a friend and an old-time comrade. I promise my resolute commitment to you in executing your official duties at the Ministry,” Gen Tumwine said.
“As I take on my new advisory role, I will advise President Museveni to prepare for a smooth transition of power for the long-term stability of our country,” he added.
It was a day for speaking about transitions as Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi on his part thanked his predecessor Gen Tumwine for putting in place a smooth transition of power in the ministry.
“I thank my friend and a senior comrade Gen. Tumwine for a smooth transition. I am not new to this ministry; therefore, I will cooperate with the staff to promote stability and harmony in our country,’ Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi said.
Gen Tumwine is one of the surviving bush war heroes who fought alongside President Yoweri Museveni.
At the height of the previous presidential elections, Gen Tumwine said that Bobi Wine protestors were at a risk of being shot to death “rightly” by the police if they did not comply.
“Police have a right to shoot you and kill you if you reach a certain level of violence. Can I repeat? Police have a right to shoot you and you die for nothing…. do it at your own risk,” he said.
The five-star General decorated as the first person to fire a bullet in the 1986 Museveni bushwar has been rooting for the regime expansion while holding the bigger end of the stick.
During the debate to strike out age limit from the constitution and allow Museveni another opportunity to rule the country, Gen Tumwine defended the raid on parliament by armed men believed to be from Special Forces Command.
“How far does the immunity act provide for a member of parliament to break doors, property of parliament, threaten to kill a person? How far does the immunity go?” Gen Tumwine said.
“I have never experienced the Speaker being tested and stretched to the point you were. I had never experienced that even us of the security forces who are not always victims of excitement and provocation and mistakes of politicians are now victims and asked. What did you fight for?” he added.
In July 2019, Gen Tumwine was again embroiled in another fight at Parliament when he allegedly drew a gun at Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal.
Gen Tumwine was later let off the hook after those accusing him failed to adduce evidence.
However, in the course of the debate, he was also accused of disrespecting parliament when he allegedly claimed that the Speaker had no power elsewhere except in chambers.
The accusation made by Bukhonzo West County MP Atkins Katushabe did not also stand long as it fell for lack of evidence.
Gen Tumwine’s run ins while trying to defend the continued stay in power of the 1986 cadres have been a constant, and on one of the occasions in the previous presidential campaigns he was recorded singing a song dubbed “sisi tuko tayari” (we are ready).
This was after the protests against the sitting government of President Museveni. In the song, Tumwine was vowing to crush anyone who threatens the establishment with force.
While replying to Gen Tumwine’s statements on power transition, four-time presidential contender and bushwar colleague Dr Kizza Besigye reiterated that the former is “30 years late”
“It’s 30yrs late; even then, this may mark the end of your “new role”! That’s why…,” Besigye said.
Norm for those dropped to speak in tongues?
The speech from Gen Elly Tumwine is not new, many of Museven’s cadres always end up speaking in tounges when dropped from ‘juicy positions”.
At the climax of the trouble with GAVI funds and after he was dropped as health minister, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi said that “We people of Rukungri have a way of detecting bad leadership”.
The statement was a direct swipe at Museveni.