By Charles Etukuri
President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, responded to Twitter users who had, among others, tweeted what he termed as malicious statements on Gen. Elly Tumwiine, who passed away on August 25, 2022, in Kenya.
Among those he was responding to was former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi of the National Unity Platform party.
In a statement released via Twitter, Museveni defended Tumwiine against those he termed as malicious and confused. He describe the late as an achiever.
“Today, the 5th of October, I had the opportunity to look at the tweets that were being sent by some malicious and confused people when Gen. Tumwiine died. My staff told me about those tweets, but I had not had time to look at them,” Museveni said.
On claims that Tumwiine didn’t have genuine mourners, Museveni said: “Regarding whether Tumwiine had genuine mourners, see the pictures at Rwemikooma if you have spectacles to see. Therefore, the malicious actors are informed that Gen. Tumwiine was a success in every important aspect, the seven years spent away from home in the resistance notwithstanding.”
He also defended the statement attributed to Gen. Tumwiine on shooting dead rioters saying: “His comment about shooting rioters, is not his composition. He was informing the public about the Riot Act, in Uganda the Penal Code Act, which is used in many countries.”
Read the full detailed statement below:
Ugandans, especially Bazukulu.
Today, the 5th of October, I have had the opportunity to look at the tweets that were being sent by some malicious and confused people when General Tumwiine died. My staff has been telling me about those tweets, but I had not had time to look at them.
1. Mr. Kakwenza “moaned” (meaning mourned) with pleasure;
2. Mr. Bobi Wine – became biblical, quoting “dust to dust” and admonishing everybody to be “humble” – meaning that Tumwiine was not humble;
3. Masereka Jodrah, Ineza Tusiime, Kwemboi, Magezi Damic, Atutta, Ogwal Joseph, Nabukalu Rachel, Rea Gan, Mugambe, Olanya, Allan Allan, and others, were celebrating, in different ways, Gen Tumwiine’s death and also saying that celebrating that death will cause no split, etc.; and others saying that we were split a long time ago between the “haves and the have nots”.
4. That type of thinking is wrong for the following reasons:
I. We all shall die, eventually. That, therefore, cannot be a matter of celebrating whether you like the person in question or not. People who do that are deceiving themselves.
II. The only relevant questions, then, are: What contribution have you made in life and what achievements have you attained in life?
III. On the two questions, Tumwiine passes with flying colors for the following reasons:
a) He came from a semi-traditional family (Christian but not educated balokole) and became a university graduate secondary school teacher by 1977.
b) joined the anti-Amin Liberation struggle in 1979 and has been in the Resistance ever since, attaining the rank of General, MP, Minister, etc.
c) I am told that he settled his brothers in the Burunga Farm, where his parents were when I taught there in 1967, and bought his farm in the Rwemikooma area and left thousands of cattle, a nice family house, etc.
d) God gave him a wife, and they have adult children who are all university graduates.
e) Tumwiine helped many children of the NRM veterans, one of them being Mariam Seguya, RDC of Kiboga.
f) Tumwiine was active in the church and was a music composer and painter of pictures.
g) He was a member of the Smart Partnership Movement started by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
Therefore, celebrating that Tumwiine has died at 68 years of age, after achieving all this, shows that you are, at the least, shallow because Tumwiine did not fear death because that is why he went to fight with arms, to look for possible death, when he was in his 20s, on account of patriotism and Pan-Africanism.
Moreover, Tumwiine, because he lived longer than some of the other fighters, cared for the children of some of the fallen comrades. Tumwiine was an early achiever in education, a freedom fighter, an artist, a philanthropist, and a wealth-creator (big farmer).
If some people do not appreciate such people, it could be that they are either uninformed (ignorant) or they are parasites (want affluence without working). Such people should be guided or condemned if they persist in their negativity.
The roads everybody rides on, the schools, the electricity stations that generate electricity for the night-club goers to have trans-nights and tweet the following day, etc., are from the sweat of the wealth creators like Tumwiine, not to forget the peace the tweeters are using to express their malice. Go and send tweets in Mogadishu, if you think peace is not important.
The tweeters who speak of belonging to the “have nots” who resent the “haves”, should be reminded that right from 1996, the NRM Government created the Entadikwa Fund based in the sub-county where the leaders are elected by universal suffrage by the voters. Ever since that time, the NRM has been sending money to precisely the have-nots: NAADS; Youth Fund; Women’s Fund; OWC; Emyooga; and, currently, the PDM.
Haruna Kasolo Kyeyune and Ritah Namuwenge of Emyooga can share with you the success stories of some of the people that responded to these efforts. On account of some people complaining that the local elite “begabira bokka”, on account of sending support through the LCs, the CAOs, or the OWC soldiers, we are now sending money directly to the SACCOs of the wealth creators (e.g., farmers) at the parish level, cutting out the Government officials.
Therefore, the NRM’s advice to the have-nots has always been; to use these grants (OWC) or soft money (PDM, Women’s Fund, Youth Fund, Emyooga, Entandikwa, send a cow) to get out of the have-nots and join the “haves”.
Regarding whether Tumwiine had genuine mourners, see the pictures at Rwemikooma if you have spectacles to see. Therefore, the malicious actors are informed that Gen. Tumwiine was a success in every important aspect, the seven years spent away from home in the resistance notwithstanding.
His comment about shooting rioters is not his composition. He was informing the public about the Riot Act, which is in Uganda the Penal Code Act, which is used in many countries. It says, in part, as follows:
69; Dispersal of rioters.
If upon the expiration of a reasonable time after the proclamation is made, or after the making of the proclamation has been prevented by force, twelve or more people continue riotously assembled, any person authorized to make the proclamation, or any police officer or any other person acting in aid of that person or police officer, may do all things necessary for dispersing the persons so continuing assembled or for apprehending them or any of them, and if any person makes resistance, may use all such force as is reasonably necessary for overcoming such resistance, and shall not be liable in any criminal or civil proceeding for having, by the use of such force, caused harm or death to any person.