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Angry Brig Tumukunde tells off government

A long drawn out court martial trial has stretched the patience of former ISO and CMI boss, Brig Henry Tumukunde. He now says he’s tired of attending court and not afraid to go to Luzira Prison if the state so wishes. Tumukunde has fought charges of “spreading harmful propaganda” for the last eight years.

Appearing before a panel of seven judges in the General Court Martial at Makindye yesterday, Tumukunde again refused to defend himself against the charges that were first brought against him in 2005. But the General Court Martial Chairman, Brig Fred Tolit, insisted that Tumukunde rethinks his position, a matter the spy chief rejected.

“Mr. Chairman, when we were last here, I categorically stated that I’ll not defend myself. You insisted that you’ll give me chance to think about it which is two more months now. I’m no longer worried about going to Luzira Prison which I think is better than coming to this court anymore,” Tumukunde said.

But Tolit was not done.

“I need to inform you that if you choose to testify on oath, you will be cross-examined by the prosecution, if you testify without swearing, you will not be cross-examined and you also have an option of keeping quiet.”

“Actually I’m worried of continuing to come before this court because anything out of here is better for me,” Tumukunde countered.
“Mr. Chairman, justice delayed is justice denied. I only wish one of you puts himself in my shoes. I started coming to this court when my son was in senior one, he is now working.

“I’ve been in your shoes before when I was arrested for a year without being charged. I was later acquitted without a charge,” a now angry Tolit countered.

After a while, Tolit declared that sending Tumukunde to prison was not hard, but that his court would rule on the matter with justice. Tolit eventually decided to adjourn the case to January 24 for the prosecution to make final submissions. Prosecution alleges that Tumukunde made the offensive remarks on a talk-show on Radio One on May 27, 2005 without authorization and contrary to sections 66(1),(2) and (5) of the UPDF Act.

Tumukunde was later summoned by the UPDF High Command and ordered to resign from Parliament where he was an Army representative. But the state was not done with him, as he was later arrested and placed under military detention for about one year before being charged in the General Court Martial. After the prosecution closed its case in November 2012, Tumukunde told the court, then sitting in camera, that he would not give his defence and instead asked Tolit to deliver his judgement.

The court had hoped that Tumukunde, a lawyer, would change his mind, but during yesterday’s hearing Tumukunde overruled his own lawyers, Oscar Kambona and Emmanuel Twarebireho, and elected to speak for himself.

Why keep quiet

Outside the court, a furious Tumukunde said he had decided to keep quiet because “that is exactly what the government wants, gagging the public with impunity”.
He later cheekily added that at the start of the case there was a junior officer in the UPDF who was at the rank of lieutenant but is now a brigadier. Tumukunde didn’t name the officer he was referring to.

Asked whether he is not scared of being convicted and jailed, Tumukunde answered:

“Who cares? Let them decide whatever they want to decide, it is this tendency of some people fearing being arrested that is causing others to make blunders with impunity. Of course I look at the current court chairman and sympathise with him”.

The case has dragged on for so long that it has been handled by five chairpersons, including Gen Elly Tumwine, Lt. Gen Ivan Koreta, Brig Bernard Rwehururu, Maj. Gen Charles Angina and Brig Fred Tolit.

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Comments

 
+37 #1 Steven Nsubuga 2013-01-11 00:01
Exactly...it is the duty of all Ugandans to fight for their freedom. Museveni is not a demi God as many would make you believe. If he was, he wouldn't have run to the Americans crying about how Ghadafi wanted to kill him!

These people aren't Gods, look at Ghadafi hiding in the sewer when his moment of truth arrived!! The same will happen in Uganda if all Ugandans speak up.Change will arrive. Just show some spine people.
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+28 #2 Olok S. 2013-01-11 00:17
Watching these NRA Revolutionaries going for each other's throats is quite interesting...
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+22 #3 Miss UGanda 2013-01-11 00:44
Yap, the beast they nurtured has come back to bite them! And it will devour all of them, one at a time.

"I look at the current court chairman and sympathise with him”. Tumukunde said... And I entirely agree with him
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+4 #4 kabayekka 2013-01-11 01:03
Indeed by the time these military elites get hold of their boss and as well throw him in Luzira prison, they would have learned a lesson or two.

They would then Thank God for it indeed! Very bad indeed to brand your close friends all over the place, seven days of the week, seven years, as dirty criminals.
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+3 #5 busabwambogo bukala 2013-01-11 01:42
you have really made me feel sori for you ,ma mother has acase that has not been heard its now five years .........
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+19 #6 Mukiibi 2013-01-11 02:51
Mmmmm... even UPDF is tired (Bakoowu)!!!!!! !
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-42 #7 DAVID 2013-01-11 03:11
Tumukunde as a lawyer ought to know that the court-martial doesn't operate basing on his time-table and directives hence he shouldn't give it a time-frame and instructions on what to do about him.

The beleaguered general further ought to know that its not the various court-martial chairpersons presiding over his case that prompted him to go to the media to spew his frustrations that were contrary to the army code but his conscious yet he was well aware of the repercussions that come with such folly and so, he should carry his own cross.

The general goes on to talk about his son being in senior one when he was interdicted and now working yet he's still under trial. Now, is Tumukunde trying to mean that he's a robot whose utterances are being remote controlled by his son?, what has the studentship of his son (that he was telling the court) got to do with his trial?.
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+8 #8 Bingi 2013-01-11 03:52
Tumukunde renders me speechless.
Iam ofcourse all smiles for his macho heart remarks. I bet all the NRM Cadres know the truth but are in fear just like this picture from the daily monitor speaks!!

pleas follow link below
http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/We-shall-sort-out-the--bad-boys----Museveni/-/688334/1662828/-/13p02sfz/-/index.html
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+24 #9 Julius 2013-01-11 07:42
Quoting DAVID:
Tumukunde as a lawyer ought to know that the court-martial doesn't operate basing on his time-table and directives hence he shouldn't give it a time-frame and instructions on what to do about him.

The beleaguered general further ought to know that its not the various court-martial chairpersons presiding over his case that prompted him to go to the media to spew his frustrations that were contrary to the army code but his conscious yet he was well aware of the repercussions that come with such folly and so, he should carry his own cross.

The general goes on to talk about his son being in senior one when he was interdicted and now working yet he's still under trial. Now, is Tumukunde trying to mean that he's a robot whose utterances are being remote controlled by his son?, what has the studentship of his son (that he was telling the court) got to do with his trial?.


I DID NOT KNOW THAT IN UGANDA IN 2013, WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO THINK LIKE you
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+2 #10 Baale 2013-01-11 07:51
Tumukunde, join the que of fell Ugandan who are gaged by the establishment. never under estimate the power human beings have when they hold a gun like museveni. Every body should no this. Thios is why soldiers should ton rule countries.

Even those who hire guns in uganda should know that they trying to make themselves poiwerful under the disguise of security. I feel the frustration in the words written about Tumukunde.
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+7 #11 KK 2013-01-11 08:10
I like David's cadre commment that tells one that come rain or sunshine a leader will always have diehards.

So for those challenging the establishment be aware of these good cadres. They can commit anything any time anywhere to any one.
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+3 #12 Hanningtone 2013-01-11 09:01
Mr M7, your selective prosecution of peaceful Ugdans will not save and deliver Ugda to the rule of law. How do you dare keep someone on Katebe for over 7 years. He has a family too and unable to swindle government funds like you do with your hentchmen and women!!

Leave the man alone, he aired out his personal opinion, if you, your family and your army are not supporting him, ignore his advice/views and proceed with militaristic ways of governing Uganda.

Could you kindly prosecute more including your son, wife, daughters and brothers who are training parallel armies in the name of cadreship and planning to take over country by force in the spirit of being "visionary"?

Tolit, acquit the man, Please, please I beg. Period. "Today is me and tomorrow is someone", Lutaya (RIP) said.
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+21 #13 turnseal 2013-01-11 09:18
The general goes on to talk about his son being in senior one when he was interdicted and now working yet he's still under trial. Now, is Tumukunde trying to mean that he's a robot whose utterances are being remote controlled by his son?, what has the studentship of his son (that he was telling the court) got to do with his trial?.

@DAVID, if you are finding the intellectual rigours of reading this newspaper difficult, try 'Red Pepper', 'Kamunye' or similar.


You really don't seem to grasp the fact that the general is referring to the length of time it has taken this court case, do you?
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+7 #14 Dixon 2013-01-11 10:11
@David, Your forgiven because i doubt you know what your saying.
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+15 #15 Concerned Ugandan 2013-01-11 10:26
At the time Tumukunde's trial started, one would say that Ugandans were not all that concerned especially given the fact that he happens to come from the west. It could be shrugged off as in-fighting that would eventually result in the protagonist and antagonist kissing and making up.

However, as is now typical for NRM and its bungling ways, they have created a martyr out of Tumukunde! Any decent human being would not help but be moved by this VISIBLY battle-scarred veteran of the bush war lamenting the injustice meted out to him by a remotely controlled court-martial!!

Irrespective of Tumukunde's shortcomings as a person, he like all Ugandans is still entitled to a fair, impartial and EXPEDITIOUS trial! I agree 100% with his decision to remain silent before this kangaroo court-martial because whatever he says, the verdict will be determined in State House and not by the court-martial!!
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+5 #16 meric 2013-01-11 10:36
look at Ghadafi hiding in the sewer when his moment of truth arrived!! The same will happen in Uganda if all Ugandans speak up.Change will arrive. Just show some spine people.

ugandan sewers? yak!
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+3 #17 Japman 2013-01-11 10:44
who exactly is DAVID. He's the only person who seems to be seeing things differently in this country.I do not think he's ever been closer to the system than Tumukunde has.

Any how we should not lose sleep coz as expected even failed regimes always have their apologetics.
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-1 #18 Japman 2013-01-11 11:28
Quoting Japman:
who exactly is DAVID. He's the only person who seems to be seeing things differently in this country.I do not think he's ever been closer to the system than Tumukunde has.

Any how we should not lose sleep coz as expected even failed regimes always have their apologists.


Apologists Not apologetics.
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+1 #19 DAVID 2013-01-11 12:00
Quoting Japman:
who exactly is DAVID. He's the only person who seems to be seeing things differently in this country.I do not think he's ever been closer to the system than Tumukunde has.

Any how we should not lose sleep coz as expected even failed regimes always have their apologetics.


And who're you?. Like you're entitled to your warped opinion, i am also entitled to mine. The Brigadier once belonged to the army council, what did he say about the plight of his juniors who'd spent almost a decade on trial?. Is he just discovering it now. You reap what you sow and so let him face it.
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0 #20 DAVID 2013-01-11 12:13
Turnseal

By replying somebody who's "finding the intellectual rigours of finding this newspaper difficult" (sic), you just end up making a fool of your own self. Otherwise what do you know about the substance of his case?, and what intellect (if any) have you manifested in your rather empty comment?

How many suspects in courts have you heard complaining about the length of their trial and hence instruct the judges to issue an immediate verdict?. Isn't this arrogance?
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