At about 7 pm on Thursday, a joint team of military and police operatives laid siege to the office of the former Security Minister, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, in Kololo, Kampala. They forced the gate open and accessed the premises where Lt Gen Tumukunde was with his aides and the Tororo North Member of Parliament, Ms. Annett Nyakecho.
The team was led by Director of the Police Criminal Investigations Directorate, Ms. Grace Akullo, and Mr. Elly Womanya, the head of the Special Investigations Division of the police.
They inform Gen Tumukunde that they had come to search the premises but he said it was late to do so.
“I thought you were a lawyer, Akullo! Do they carry out the search on people at this time?” he asks.
One of the unidentified detectives then tells him: “The laws keep changing. You might have forgotten.”
Gen Tumukunde then replies: “Any amendments [to the law]?”
The arresting team later tells him that he had also made treasonous utterances. In response, he asks them if the utterances would be found in his office.
Akullo responds: “It is an investigation procedure, sir”.
He then asks them if he was under arrest and Womanya says that he was under arrest for uttering treasonous statements.
But Gen Tumukunde insists that they must bring paperwork to show the charges and why he was being arrested.
He tells them that he had been a colleague in security and know the procedure of carrying out the arrests.
But Ms. Akullo says there was no need to explain because Womanya has clearly told him why he was being arrested.
“The procedure is clear. You tell someone why he is being arrested and after the arresting officer has identified himself. For paper, that will come later,” Womanya interjects.
Gen Tumukunde responds: “Anyway, I know you have been trying to arrest me and I know you have been designing it. Anyone who has a different view, you must arrest him. But at least, bring documentation.
He again asks them if they had a search warrant. They show it to him but because of darkness, he asks for a phone flashlight to read the search warrant. They show him the document. He is then led into a police vehicle and taken to Kibuli for questioning.
Tumukunde’s aides, MP Nyakecho forced to spend a night in the office
At least 15 people who were found at the office of the former Security minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde during his arrest, spent a night locked inside the office premises.
Most of them were his aides and private guards who replaced the UPDF guards that were withdrawn three weeks ago.
Among them was Tororo North MP Annett Nyakecho, who told Saturday Monitor that they spent the night in the cold without water and food. “We cannot get out because they said whoever tries to get out will be dealt with. They mounted cameras on top of a police truck to monitor what is happening inside,” she said.
Another group of detectives also surrounded his home in Kololo and his family members were not allowed to get out.
Ms. Nyakecho has been close to Lt Gen Tumukunde since he announced that he would stand for President in 2021. The premises remained closed until 10.30 am when the operatives started the search.
On Tuesday, after meeting the police leadership over his planned consultations of his supporters in preparation for the 2021 elections, Gen Tumukunde described Ms. Nyakecho as one of the principal persons that will help him canvass votes.
We would like to inform the public that on March 12, 2020, at around 7 pm, a joint security task team led by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, arrested Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde for alleged treason. His premises at Kololo were secured for further search this morning, for any additional evidence of material value.
The arrest follows his utterances in a series of radio and television interviews, which seek to foster hatred that might lead to inter-community violence, fomenting and glorifying violence in general. He in addition, calls on the support of a neighboring country to support him in removing the current leadership with or without the ballot.
He is, therefore, being charged under Sections 23 (2) b and 23 (3) b, of the Penal code Act, which deals with instigating persons to invade the Republic of Uganda and inciting any persons to make a mutinous assembly.
As always our number one priority is the safety and security of all Ugandans. And we would like to thank our task teams for their swift action, upon recognizing the impact of the inflammatory and provocative rhetoric by the suspect on members of the armed forces and the wider public.
This should also act as a deterrent to others who would like to promote views that seek to naturalize violence in our country, Uganda. CP Fred Enanga, PRO