President Museveni has said former Security Minister and NRA bush war hero, Gen Elly Tumwine died of lung cancer.
“With deep sorrow, I announce the deep death, at 5:46am in Nairobi, of General Elly Tumwiine from lung cancer,” Museveni said in a statement released on Thursday morning.
Tumwine was pronounced dead on Thursday morning from Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, where he was airlifted recently.
He was one of the 42 people armed with 27 guns who attacked Kabamba barracks to launch the NRA protracted war that five years later in 1986 would usher the current government to power, after leaving his teaching career in 1978 to join the FRONASA forces led by Museveni.
In hi eulogy, President Museveni said he had earlier taught Tumwine in primary school and it is where they first got to know each other.
“I had taught him at Burunga Primary School in 1967, after our A-levels, as a student teacher, before going to University, later that year. He joined FRONASA with 9000 others in 1979, went to Monduli Military School in Tanzania and was the one who fired the first shot on February,6, 1981, at Kabamba, at the beginning of the 1981-1986 war of resistance,” Museveni said.
The president said since then, Gen Tumwine has been part of the leadership of the NRA- UPDF as well part of the government in various capacities where he served diligently.
“Those capacities included being army commander, member of High Command, Director-General Intelligence, Minister of Security, etc. He has been a dedicated and hardworking cadre. More will be said about him later.”
Joining the army in 1978 , Tumwine later joined then rebel leader Yoweri Museveni to the bush to form the National Resistance Army (NRA).
In 1984, he was named commander of the army, a post he held for three years until 1987, when he was succeeded by General Salim Saleh.
In September 2005, he was promoted to the rank of general in the UPDF and chairperson of the UPDF General Court Martial in Makindye where among the persons arraigned before him was opposition strongman, Dr.Kizza Besigye and charged with treason.
The case was later transferred to the civilian court.
During his career, Gen Tumwine also served as Minister of State for Defence in 1989, Director General of the External Security Organization (ESO) from 1994 until 1996, presidential adviser on security from 1996 until 1998, chairman of the High Command Appeals Committee from 1986 until 1999.
Tumwine has also previously represented the UPDF in the Parliament.
Gen Tumwine: How I fired first bullet to launch NRA bush war