Former security minister, Lt.Gen.Henry Tumukunde has broken silence on roumers that he is planning to challenge his former boss president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for the top office urging there is nothing wrong for him to have presidential ambitions despite not officially announcing his intentions.
Tumukunde recently made public his intention to contest for the Kampala Lord Mayor position against opposition strongman and renowned lawyer, Erias Lukwago.
However, there has been claims that the former spymaster is clandestinely working to vie for presidency in the forthcoming 2021 polls.
Speaking during a local TV talk show on Thursday, Tumukunde said there is nothing wrong with anyone standing for presidency.
“There is nothing wrong with being a president but I’m also not sure if anybody can be a president,” Tumukunde said.
“The political space is open. Should you feel like you want a political job, the road is wide open, you shouldn’t wait to be appointed.”
“I have been doing research for one year on whether I am understood very well. Ugandans understand me very well. Why do you want to imagine that (military success) is all I possess? You think I can’t be political enough,” the no-nonsense retired UPDF general responded to a question from the moderator.
“I am not escorting anyone in politics. Military ranks should never hoodwink you. We understand when its military and when it is political.”
Tumukunde insisted he is not the first UPDF officer to join politics before mentioned opposition strongman Col.Dr.Kizza Besigye and former army commander, Maj.Gen. Mugisha Muntu among former soldiers who have joined active politics after retirement from the army.
Asked whether he felt bad for being dropped as security minister two years ago, Tumukunde responded that it is not a bid deal being dropped, noting that ministerial positions are not the only avenues for one to serve the country.
“How many people are in cabinet? Does that mean the rest of Ugandans commit suicide because they are not in cabinet? The political road is wide open that you don’t need to be appointed,” he responded.
Tumukunde was detained for eight years at the Kololo officers’ mess over charges related to spreading harmful propaganda stemming from comments he made while appearing on a local radio talk show.
On Thursday, the retired UPDF general was quizzed on whether he was bitter for the agony he went through during the period of incarceration and that it had forced him to stand against President Museveni.
He responded that despite going through a lot during that period, it was his own decision to join active politics and not because of his past.
“Politics is not a night club. You want to think it is suicidal to make some of these decisions? Why are you shocked I have another view? You don’t get pushed into marriage by the excitement of things.”