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

0 #41 DAVID 2013-01-12 13:31
Quoting Kamwana:
Quoting DAVID:
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?


I think it isnt! There is a difference between arrogance and defiance. kozesa ko ku google. you will learn alot!Here are some links to help you understand:
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=defiance
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=arrogance


I know Tumukunde unlike most of you who merely view him on TVs and hear his voice on radios. I worked with him for more than two decades and so you needn't give me your goofy references.
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-1 #42 DAVID 2013-01-12 13:44
Quoting Iteere:
The reason why we have had an uninterrupted peace for more than 25 years,is because Museveni tamed the Army. When Tumukunde was the Head of CMI and ISO ,he elevated himself to be am un-toucheable.

Too proud.Now see him,he is like a Mosquito.Thank you our Dear PRESIDENT.You are a gift from God.Nowander people now have freedom to call Museveni names,its because they are enjoying the freedom.

Others oppose because they are tribal,they canty believe that their kings are now under the feet of Munyankore son.I know it pains.Long Live son of Kaguta


Yes, tell them especially this lousy Kojjah (no.37).
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+1 #43 Yoram 2013-01-12 20:55
@Iteere @DAVID - Uganda is in the throes of a deep political crisis - one which, given the intransigence of the NRM, is unlikely to be settled by peaceful means.

When that reckoning comes - and there is always a reckoning - may Uganda's new governors forgive you your racist and sectarian ways and, though you scarcely deserve it, may they treat you with mercy, gentleness and respect. For God and My Country.
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+2 #44 E.Africa 2013-01-12 20:56
David, surely your critical thinking skills are questionable if you fire off illogically at a tangent at the slightest rebuttal.

"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?"

Because things are the way the are, does not mean that efforts to change them should be thwarted or ridiculed. These are no longer the days or times to put up with any status quo. Those days are long gone. Please get with the times.. OK?
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0 #45 Mo 2013-01-13 05:36
Quoting DAVID:
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?


HELLO DAVID, I HOPE YOU APPRECIATE THE LENGTH OF TUMUKUNDE'S COURT CASE. I HOPE YOU ALSO APPRECIATE A COMPETENT COURT WOULD NOT TAKE THIS LONG TO DELIVER ITS JUDGEMENT. IT IS CLEAR FROM THE ARTICLE THAT THIS CASE HAS EITHER BEEN DELIBERATELY DELAYED TO FRUSTRATE THE DEFENDANT OR THERE ARE COMPETENCE ISSUE.
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0 #46 Odinga 2013-01-13 05:53
Quoting DAVID:
Quoting Kamwana:
Quoting DAVID:
Turnseal



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?


I think it isnt! There is a difference between arrogance and defiance. kozesa ko ku google. you will learn alot!Here are some links to help you understand:
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=defiance
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=arrogance


I know Tumukunde unlike most of you who merely view him on TVs and hear his voice on radios. I worked with him for more than two decades and so you needn't give me your goofy references.

This explains a lot. Tell us more...I take it things didnt end too well?
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0 #47 mguu 2013-01-13 18:42
tumukunde should remember the time when he drove into therally of kiiza besigye in 2001 and killed innocent people.

by that time he was an ardent suppoerter of the regime that id tormenting him. he should recall.
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+1 #48 Kayanga01 2013-01-13 22:37
David, two wrongs don't make a right! Tumukunde is right and its true that justice delayed is justice defeated!

It's not Tumukunde alone, many Ugandans wonder whether this case is not a clear example of pure vindictiveness on the part of either the institution, the UPDF or the leader M7. Why keep a man, nay an officer on trial 4 over 8 yrs? incredible.
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