Resilient Gen Elly Tumwine Has Died Young Yet He Had Achieved A Lot, Museveni Eulogizes Fallen Comrade
"When Gen Elly Tumwine fired the first shot, we thought it was a mistake. People were angry at him saying he shouldn't have been fired. I want you non-believers to know it was God’s plan for Gen Tumwine to fire first (Feb 6, 1981)," Gen Museveni recounted.
In a more than one-hour speech, President Gen Yoweri Museveni described Gen Elly Tumwine as a resilient man who was badly injured but continued with the struggle to liberate Uganda from the Dr Milton Obote regime.
Museveni, recounting his journey with Gen Elly Tumwine regretted that the former security minister died while he was still young. “At 68, Gen. Tumwine was still young but had achieved a lot. I am very happy to hear that he died a satisfied man,” the President told mourners at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala.
President Museveni first met Gen Elly Tumwine at Burunga Primary School in 1967 where the deceased was a student; Gen Museveni was a student teacher there at the time. They would later link up when Gen Museveni recruited Gen Tumwine into the Front for National Salvation (FRONASA), then a rebel group led by Gen Museveni, in 1979.
After toppling President Field Marshal Idd Amin, and after the contentious 1980 general elections, the two soldiers teamed up to wage a military war against the Obote government. The two would gain victory in 1986.
“When Gen Elly Tumwine fired the 1st shot, we thought it was a mistake. People were angry at him saying he shouldn’t have been fired. I want you non-believers to know it was God’s plan for Gen Tumwine to fire first (Feb 6, 1981),” Gen Museveni recounted.
Adding: “In these wars of ours, you can see the 2 sides in Genesis (establishing dominion over nature & love for your neighbour). When Gen Elly Tumwine fired the first shot of the NRA war on Feb 6, 1981, you could see the hand of God & the efforts of man.
The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi said Uganda People’s Defence Forces has lost an accomplished General. “He was our mentor, our model. We will live to remember him for what he has done. We realize that the centuries have given many men the opportunity to measure up to the standard of greatness, many men of worth in the place in the temple of fame, among others. The General was among those few.
Jolly Tumwine, wife to the late Gen. Elly Tumwine thanked her children for taking care of their father. She also thanked the medical teams of Mulago and Nairobi. “They went up and above in trying to save Elly’s life. He was a man of all seasons,” she said.
On her life with Gen Tumwine, Jolly said: “For the 35 years we were together, I saw him grow in the walk with Christ and had committed to preaching the word of God later in his life. I want to thank God for the life of my amazing husband, Elly. We shared a fulfilling life with ups and downs, and God kept us on the course, and here we are at the end of our vows, till death do us part.
According to the burial programme released by The Ministry of Defence & Veteran Affairs (MoDVA) and Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), Gen Elly Tumwine will be laid to rest on Tuesday 30th August 2022 at his country home in Mukuru Rwemikoma, Kazo District after a Requiem Service.