Deputy Speaker Tayebwa mourns battle-hardened soldier Gen Tumwine

Kampala– The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa has described fallen bush war General, Elly Tumwine as a battle-hardened soldier who offered distinguished service to the country.

President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday morning officially announced the passing of Gen Tumwine who has been undergoing treatment for lung cancer at the Agha Khan Hospital in Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Tayebwa, while presiding over Thursday afternoon’s plenary sitting, said that Parliament joins the rest of the country in mourning Gen Tumwine, a man who sacrificed a lot for the peace Ugandans are enjoying.

“We lost one of our gallant sons. A person who has left an indelible mark on the stability of this country, a person who has been a colleague with us, interacting with us every day. (We lost) a historical who started together with our President and other colleagues a revolution that would end up liberating our country.” Tayebwa said.

He described it as a “very sad moment” to the institution of Parliament because with the death of Gen Tumwine a dark cloud hovers around the legislature.

Tayebwa said that Parliament will keep in touch with the Government and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) on matters concerning the burial arrangements.

“We are in touch with the government as a leadership of this House and at an appropriate time, we shall be guided. I ask the Leader of Government business to liaise with the Leader of the Opposition so that a motion is prepared to pay tribute to our departed colleague.” Added Tayebwa.

Before Parliament observed a minute of silence in honour of General Tumwine, the Speaker delivered on behalf of the institution, condolences to the country, President Yoweri Museveni, the UPDF fraternity and the family of the deceased.

Gen Elly Tumwine who is the longest serving Member of Parliament was also the Minister for Security at the time he retired from legislative work in May 2021.

Parliament, which is expected to pay tribute to Gen Tumwine at a later date, observed a moment of silence following the Deputy Speaker’s announcement of his demise.

Gen Jim Muhwezi who last year succeeded the deceased as Minister for Security, told Parliament that plans are underway to repatriate his remains from Nairobi and then a detailed burial programme is announced to the country.

“We shall be coming up with the programme to lay him to rest. We shall work as per your guidance with the leader of opposition to pay tribute to Gen Tumwine” he said.

As the country awaits the burial arrangements to confirm when Gen Tumwine will lay in state, Kira Municipality legislator, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda emphasized the need for the government to table policy guidelines on who should be taken to Parliament and also accorded an official burial.

“There was a call from Parliament to standardize the sending off of colleagues and other senior public officers. There was supposed to be a policy on official funerals. This would be a time for us to be guided on who qualifies for what in death” he said.

The Deputy Speaker then directed the Government to work on the said guidelines and table them before Parliament for approval.

Tayebwa also extended an olive branch to Ugandans to always engage with the leadership of Parliament on the details of people who have made distinguished contributions to the country, so that special tributes can be paid after they depart.

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