The gods of Kisoro are peeved presumably with the former Police Chief, Gen Edward Kale Kayihura.Consider! At the same time the President had been preparing to pardon and remove Gen Kayihura from katebe (undeployment), is exactly the same time, also, when United Kingdom (UK) deemed it necessary tostep out with their own version of sanctions against the beleaguered man!
The fresh sanctions arrive as the President and Gen Kayihura’s powerful political brokers, as well as his tribesmen back in Kisoro, are engaged in secret talks to have the former President Museveni’s blue-eyed security chief freed from the military court trial, the Investigator has exclusively established. Impeccable sources closer to State House backed up those in the inner security circles to confirm how those talks had reached the crunch point by the time UK issued the fresh sanctions against Kayihura.
Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), the lawyers for Gen Kale Kayihura, have colloborated too, the said developments but the same, which would appear now to have been interrupted by UK’s fresh sanctions. Kayihura, as per the fresh sanctions, stands accused of having purportedly supervised the gruesome torture of Ugandans notably, those belonging to the opposition as he was presiding over the Uganda Police Force where, he still stands as it’s longest serving principal.
The United States was the first country to slap sanctions against Gen Kayihura over the same charges. But following the US agents own interaction with the alleged victims of Kayihura’s purported torture and during which no convincing evidence would be collected against him, the Americans have since somehow stepped back from the stance it had earlier taken against the former Ugandan Police Foece Chief.
Jet Tumwebaze, one of the lead lawyers for Kayihura from the prestigious Kampala Associated Advocates law firm, confirms such Americans’ change-of-heart. “They came down here. They investigated whatever they wanted to investigate. But they didn’t find anything useful to incriminate Gen Kale Kayihura,” Jet Tumwebaze shares. In fact, the Americans have been mute for years now, about the need to fix Gen Kayihura over the torture charges which they themselves had levelled against him.
And that would be presuppose Kayihura’s lawyer, Jet Tumwebaze is aware of and knows exactly what he is talking about. That change-of-heart development by the Americans had given huge hopes to Kayihura’s backers. Since they have been currently of the strong view that Kayihura was going to find it easy to get pardoned by the President. And then possibly, get himself reinstated in some post within the security forces or elsewhere within the government itself. “What was being awaited for in the meantime was for the President to actualize the General’s pardoning. You can quote me on that one,” is how one of the highest ranking vocal military officers reveals.
This military tsar renowned for having played a key role during the bush war which catapulted this regime into power and, who has been, for that reason, awarded since thereafter, with key ministerial posts, goes on to confidently assert how Kayihura’s pardoning had been before the fresh sanctions, just a question of when it was going to happen as opposed to if it was going to happen at all. His comments about Kayihura’s pardoning have been confirmed too by his equally high ranking military colleagues, plus other multiple sources very close to the Deep State.
But with the UK sanctions against Gen Kayihura having now come into force, his powerful backers are presently confused for what to do next, the same having hit them like a bolt out of the blue and hence, thereby throwing them in disarray. This stance, since those powerful backers feel and fear that in absence of the presidential pardon, the UK sanctions are going to negatively serve to prolong Kayihura’s already prolonged painful redundancy.
The First Son, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba is one of such Kayihura’s powerful backers. Not only does Muhoozi condemn the fresh sanctions, but he also forcefully demands of the Americans to quickly lift them. Gen Severino Kahinda Otafiire, a powerful cabinet minister as well as Gen Kayihura’s bush war comrade, slams the sanctions as being merely a rergurgitation of those ones earlier issued by the US.
Appearing to be corroborating what Gen Kayihura’s lead lawyer Jet Tumwebaze told us before in these lines, Otafiire prophesizes about how the fresh sanctions by UK are going to end up collapsing just as those ones earlier issued by the US. Both Tumwebaze and Otafiire assert how the fresh sanctions are frivolous just as the US administration realized their’s were, after they had interfaced with the people who they had alleged, had been tortured by Gen Kayihura only to find such allegations to be a reported sham.
A strong backer of Gen Kayihura for having introduced him to the army by recruiting him firstly as a security vigilantee (Local defence personnel), Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has been consistently pestering his father, President Yoweri Museveni to pardon the former police chief for any wrong he could have committed while serving as the Inspector General of Police. Gen Kayihura’s tribesmates back in Kisoro have also been exerting a lot of pressure on the President to pardon their son.
During one of the very recent visits to Kisoro, the high flying businesspeople backed up by the opinion leaders and politicians plus the religious leaders there, repeated their frantic call to the President to pardon their son.While the President didn’t say whether he was going to forgive Kayihura directly, he had nevertheless pledged to do so as he was combing the area for votes during the 2016 election. To demonstrate his resolve to pardon Kayihura, the president has since called for the file containing the serious charges against the elder, from the Court Martial where the trial was hence put on hold.
While the President didn’t say directly during the last time he was in Kisoro if he was going to forgive Kayihura, the fact the people there promised to support his presidential bid again in 2026 if he grants their wish, would be too sweet a sweetener for the President to ignore. Sources very close to the top-most military echelons have intimidated to this investigative website how the President has been lately frantically consulting the top brass of the army ahead of pardoning Gen Kayihura.
“The Commander-in-Chief is very committed about pardoning Gen Kayihura,” those sources have revealedseverally. They explain though that what has been delaying the process is the need to consult widely and majorly from within the legal wing of the army so that Gen Kayihura is pardoned in a proper manner. Other knowledgeable sources have also revealed to us that the consultation are quite complicated since they are involving the need to find the senior military man a decent posting or to retire him which would come with big financial implications given his long service at the very top levels.
What cannot be discounted also and which is a very positive thing for Gen Kayihura is the fact that the Presidents of Uganda and Rwanda have since reconciled with each other. Or so, it all seems. This would mean that the military man is no longer being used as a pawn in the chess game by the two leaders which would have negatively served to delay his pardon. Yet with the fresh sanctions from the Uk now in place, it is highly feared that such measures are going possibly to frustrate the processes of pardoning Gen Kayihura.
Just that his lawyers are optimistic that having come to Uganda, the Americans are going to properly investigate the torture allegations against Kayihura and share notes with them (Kayihura’s lawyers). And that after going through all these processes, the UK investigators just as their counterparts from US found out, they will be able to establish that the torture charges for which they had sanctioned their client for, were but a couple of lies.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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