Kampala – Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde – one of the 29 men and one lady who have shown intentions to contest against President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was arrested Thursday night on charges of treason.
Prior to his arrest, TND News has exclusively learnt that Uganda’s former security Minister – Mr Tumukunde had a night meeting with some delegation from Lango at his Kololo residence.
Among the delegation included now under house arrest – Honourable Annet Nyakeco ‘Okwenye’ who was the former Otuke district Woman MP – currently the Tororo North MP.
Others were Philip Ogile aka Jakayo who’s the National Resistance Movement [NRM] party’s publicity secretary for Oyam district, Jackbill Okello, a member of Uganda Federal Alliance [founded by Olive Betty Kamya – the current Lands Minister], some vendors from Lira main market, among others.
Mr Tumukunde who was arrested less than 30 minutes, after addressing ‘Lango delegation’ from his residence, according to one of the attendees, told them to refuse working for one man – who serves his own interest.
Speaking exclusively on phone to TND News Friday afternoon, on how he missed Thursday night arrest, the Oyam’s NRM spokesperson Philips Ogile Jakayo said: “You survive being arrested depending on how your head helps you.”
Questioned if he’s not scared security might look for him, he added: “Of course. I’m not a criminal. The charge is very clear, they …. It’s on him [Gen Tumukunde] not on us, which the allegation is even baseless.”
Mr Ogile who speaks for the ruling party, asked why he decided to meet Gen Tumukunde who is questing to remove his boss – Mr Museveni from power, answered: “We have not elected our structure leaders, even a presidential flag bearer and Gen is NRM and me I’m also NRM.”
“So, if somebody intended to give you hope and his genuine manifesto and it satisfies you, the person is dynamic. Then we are NRM,” he added.
According to Mr Ogile, party is “yet on their activities of registering people [even you, you can be an NRM]. So, go to your village and register.”
“Then thereafter, we have our roadmap,” he added.
Whereas NRM top party leaders [organ] endorsed President Museveni as its sole candidate for 2021 presidential election, Mr Ogile told TND News in the same exclusive interview that “Yeah, they have not yet announced although there are people who came with that [sole candidate].”
Adding: “Party is bigger than us.”
NRM party speaks out
Even when Mr Ogile has confirmed meeting Gen Tumukunde yet he’s a key member of NRM party, his position in the party is not under threat – according to the acting Oyam district NRM party chairperson.
Mr Patrick Ogwal Ojok, in a telephone interview with our reporter, to respond to Mr Ogile’s decision, says his office hasn’t received any letter to confirm that the district spokesperson has, indeed left the ruling party.
“At the moment, I’m not ready to comment on his opinion because I have not got any proof that he met that General. No letter from other place to say he has no mandate in NRM. But, people have free will to support, enter the party and to exit any political party,” Mr Ojok added.
According to him, Ogile’s move doesn’t call for any disciplinary action because it’s not a crime. “It’s not a crime for anyone to express freedom of will, choice and expression. Though, if he goes ahead to get a candidate to support, when the election is declared, he qualifies to leave the party because our constitution says a member can exit NRM if he or she supports a candidate who’s not for NRM, or he or she canvasses votes for that person or gave monetary support or left willingly. So, now that time for election hasn’t been declared, if someone meets anyone who’s not a member of that party, we can’t quantify he has met him for political agenda.”
Adding: “We need to understand the circumstances leading to such a meeting.”