Former Security Minister Gen Elly Tumwine has Thursday morning passed on.
The NRA historical, according to a high ranking UPDF official breathed his last from Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, where he was airlifted two weeks ago.
Last month Relatives and associates reported he collapsed at the marriage ceremony of a prominent female journalist, and was later booked at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala from where he was airlifted to Nairobi.
Tumwine served as commander of the National Resistance Army from 1984 to 1987.
He has been one of the highest-ranking members of the Ugandan military who recently called on police to shoot at protesters, he also ordered the military to kidnap, illegally incarcerate and sent opposition members to be tried in military courts based on trumped up charges which resulted in Bobi Wine supporters suing for Human Rights violations.
This led United States of America to sanction the Ugandan Generals over Human rights abuses.
He was also a member of the Ugandan Parliament, representing the Uganda People’s Defence Force.
Elly Tumwine was born on 12 April 1954, in Burunga, Mbarara District.
He attended Burunga Primary School, Mbarara High School and St. Henry’s College Kitovu, before joining Makerere University, where in 1977, he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art together with the Diploma in Education; abbreviated:BA (FA)/Dip. Ed. He specialised in the history of art painting.
He subsequently graduated from the Cadet Officers Course at the Tanzania Military Academy at Monduli.
He also attended the Senior Command Course at the Uganda Senior Command and Staff College at Kimaka, in Jinja, Uganda, being a member of the pioneer class that graduated in 2005.
Tumwine also holds further military qualifications from the military academy in Vystry, in the Soviet Union.
In 1978, he interrupted his teaching career to join the FRONASA forces led by Yoweri Museveni to fight President Idi Amin regime.
In 1981, when Museveni went to the bush to form the National Resistance Army (NRA), Elly Tumwine went with him.
He is reported to have fired the first shot in the National Resistance Army War, which propelled the National Resistance Army and National Resistance Movement into power in Uganda in 1986.
During the fighting between the NRA and the UNLA, Tumwine sustained facial injuries that led to loss of sight in one eye.
In 1984, Tumwine was named Commander of the Army, a post he held until 1987, when he was succeeded by General Salim Saleh.
Over the years, he served in various positions, including:
Minister of State for Defence in 1989.
Director General of the External Security Organization (ESO) from 1994 until 1996.
Presidential Adviser from 1996 until 1998
Chairman of the High Command Appeals Committee from 1986 until 1999.
He also continuously represented the UPDF in the Ugandan Parliament since 1986.
In September 2005, he was promoted to the rank of general in the UPDF and named to chair the UPDF General Court Marshal.
On Monday 16 May 2022, Tumwiine was among 34 generals who were retired from the UPDF.
Elly Tumwine has regularly been connected to violence against Ugandans.
After Bobi Wine was arrested on 18 November 2020 in Luuka, protests broke out which were met with excessive violence.
Elly Tumwine told the public that the police have the right “to shoot you and kill you”
Immediately after graduating from Makerere University in 1977, Elly Tumwine embarked on a teaching career in various schools in Uganda, teaching fine art.
After the National Resistance Movement victory in 1986, he resumed his art.
While serving as the commander of the NRA, he designed the flag, the emblem and the green and camouflage uniforms of the army.
He was appointed the chairman of the board of trustees of the National Cultural Centre.
In 1992, he launched his company, The Creations Limited, to promote the arts and crafts industry, encouraging artistic values and creativity.
The company is a member of several Ugandan organisations, including:
Uganda Manufacturers Association
Uganda Small Scale Industries Association
Uganda Leather Allied Industries Association