By Simon Abaho
The minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Frank K Tumwebaze, has finally responded to attacks by self-styled media analyst Tamale Mirundi by saying he will not dignify them with a response.
Mirundi has alleged that Tumwebaze and others were behind his ouster as Museveni’s press secretary in 2015.
Since then Mirundi has made one accusation after another against Tumwebaze.
“He is a mafia. He swindled Covid-19 money and built a hotel. He is working for Museveni’s downfall,” Mirundi has said severally on various talk-shows.
For all that time, Tumwebaze had chosen to ignore Mirundi’s rants.
In a twitter thread, Tumwebaze said he had chosen to give Mirundi a “contempt card. Tumwebaze said that some of his friends and advised him to talk to Mirundi and meet his demands.
This he rejected.
“Many of my friends have advised me to call and talk and ‘sort’ him by meeting some of his demands ( as I am told apparently many of his victims do) BUT I have rejected Blackmail & given him a go ahead to insult me indefinitely.If attacking me gives him a living, then let him profit,” Tumwebaze said.
Tumwebaze said he had also turned down pleas to sue Mirundi.
“To those who use him, please note that u can never destroy destinies of self made people however much u invest in ‘PHD’ schemes, just be aware,” he wrote.
A contrarian, Mirundi has been a mainstay on talk radio for more than 20 years. He first cut his teeth at CBS Radio in the early 2000s, where his no-holds-barred criticism of government officials close to Museveni won his plaudits.
He then fell out with CBS management and later got a job as Museveni’s press secretary despite having said for years that he could not work “in government.”
While there he clashed with several senior government officials including the Vice President Prof Gilbert Bukenya, who he famously derisively referred to as a “Professor of Butandaalo” given his background in public health.
In 2015, he was shown the door at State House amidst a flurry of accusations.
Mirundi’s version of events is that a group of senior government officials including Tumwebaze and veteran journalist-cum-lobbyist Andrew Mwenda orchestrated his removal.
As he nursed his bitterness over the exit, he embarked on radio-hopping spree that took him to Simba, Star FM, Top Radio, Pearl FM and a host of others, leaving, in his wake, a trail of ‘wounded’ people from officials at Mengo, to opposition politicians, to journalists to cabinet ministers.
Yet he hit his plateau at NBS TV, where his mid morning Tuesday show One on One with Tamale Mirundi became an instant hit and ranked as one of the most watched shows on NBS.
Some said they watched the show to get some comic relief.
In 2020, he left the station under a cloud of controversy.