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America’s human rights imperialism

Kayihura in the good days

Kayihura should not be judged by the abuses by his officers but what he did about it. Keen to improve police conduct and image, he created the Professional Standards Unit (to hold officers who violated professional ethics accountable) and a Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services (to receive complaints from the public on police violations of human rights). Under Kayihura as IGP, I went to jail many times and not once was I tortured.

Instead it was the U.S. government that was complicit with Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in torture. The Independent newsmagazine investigation in 2008 found the CIA and CMI jointly ran an illegal detention facility at Summit View in Kololo where they tortured prisoners. CMI would arrest people, especially young Somali men transiting through Entebbe and give their names to the U.S. embassy in Kampala. The embassy would send them to Washington DC where if found on the list of suspected terrorists would be taken to God-knows-where.

We penetrated this facility and had inmates smuggle information to us. We interviewed those who had survived the torture and later got released or escaped. Uganda was not the only country where the USA outsourced torture. Across the world, the USA would directly or through proxies kidnap (euphemistically calling it “rendition”) young Muslim men and take them to third countries. There, under supervision of CIA officials, suspects would be tortured (euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation methods”).

I used to be a blind and naïve admirer of America’s human rights record. These findings led me on the road to Damascus. I began to read books about internal politics and external relations of America. What I found was depressing but also illuminating. I have previously written about the gross violations of human rights by police departments in America that I do not need to repeat here. Suffice it to say that the U.S. lacks moral authority to castigate others for human rights abuses.

Kayihura’s offense was to use police against political opponents of government. But police never tortured political prisoners. Even Dr. Kizza Besigye is witness. Accusations of torture were raised on terror suspects at Nalufenya; a job Kayihura did with the FBI. The U.S. Justice Department even awarded him a medal in 2017 for this. The Uganda Human Rights Commission and the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights visited Nalufenya and interacted with prisoners and found no evidence of torture.

Something else motivated America to sanction Kayihura. Next week, I will demonstrate that America uses human rights as an ideological weapon to disguise her selfish intentions by pretending to be altruistic.

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amwenda@independent.co.ug

14 comments

  1. IN defending KK, regardless of whatever personal relation he has with M9, M9 is not defending KK perse.

    Whatever KK did, if anything, and whatever crimes he committed were committed in his capacity as the IGP and these orders came way above him.

    SO effectively M9 is defending M7, if we are to follow the Americans when they say ” the buck stops with me/you”

  2. Andrew, Andrew, Andrew Mwenda, now-a-days he defends anything and everything that is going wrong with this country, our dictator Museveni and/or his agents/handlers. I get the impression that because he has big mouth and a publication, Andrew Mwenda might be one of and/or agents of our wrongdoers, deployed at a fee. to sanitize and defend big-time wrongdoers.

    For instance that: Gen Kayihura is such a pauper whereby, it is now friends/sympathizers who helped to raise money to put a deposit on a mortgage on a house for Gen Kayihura, which “he has since been having problems serving the mortgage.” is laughable.

    Unless he is paid for it, why doesn’t Andrew leave wrongdoers to defend themselves?

  3. Reading this article, one gets the impression that the US government, out of racism and laziness, is targeting an innocent man.

    One would never guess that Kayihura is actually facing criminal charges in Uganda.

  4. UNLESS KK is not as bright as he would want people to believe, he should have known that this was coming – it was just a matter of that commodity -TIME.

    Much greater men , among them SADDAM , MOBUTU; people with whom AMERICA had “killed” the proverbial “mukago” , were dispensed with when they outlived their usefulness.

    KK was/is the so much talked about thief, who passes another thief being lynched, and throws in a stone for good measure and berets the other thief for bringing to shame the profession and brags that the same can never happen to him, because he is that much smarter.

    While he was doing the dirty work for and with the AMERICANS he stupidly fancied himself and thought that he was an equal with them and that nothing would happen to him. The reason he went ahead and did terrible things, thinking that he had the “dirty” on them and they would sink together.

    NOW even your boss will leave you out to dry, your children family and friends are going to suffer because of your deeds.

  5. Whɑts up aге using Wordprеss for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world bbut I’m trying to get started ɑnd set up my own. Do
    you need anyy html coding expertise to make your ᧐own blog?
    Any help wouⅼd be really appreciated!

    • Hi there.

      You do not need any coding skills if you are going to use WordPress.
      What you need to do, is registering a domain and a host.
      You have to get a package which will be convenient to have a database.

  6. Muwanga the Ugandan

    Today I agree with Mwenda on the point of the USA lacking moral authority to investigate or punish anyone anywhere in the world for human rights abuses. Please understand that I believe KK committed certain offenses that he should answer for. But on our terms and not American terms.

    The main reason why I believe America should stay out of the human rights cases in the world is; this same state department (of America) cancelled the travel visa for the ICC prosecutor about a month ago because she launched investigations of human rights abuse in Abu Ghraib prison by US soldiers. Trump and his team said via twitter that US soldiers will not be touched. They were so determined to protect these criminals that they threatened the ICC. So a country that protects people that commit human rights abuses had better shut up and let others that actually care to deal with such cases. The torture victims will never see justice thanks to the US govt protecting the torturers.

    And we as Ugandans should understand that if this colonialism (neo-colonialism is only a term used to confuse us all) is to end, we must be ready to deal with our own challenges and not wait for America to come and play “big brother”. So Kayihura should be dealt with but by us and not those American pretenders.

    • “Muwanga the Ugandan”, don’t deal with Kayihura for he was a mere messenger. You should deal with his boss for whom he dedicatedly worked; and I wish you lots of luck as you go about it!
      Remember, his boss as stubborn as a mule and he was groomed by Uncle Sam.

      (Psst: don’t hesitate to ask for outside help along the way; you may need it!!).

  7. I have said this before and i will say it again. It is appalling and disgusting to see some of the comments. Africans and especially ugandans in particular would give away their own. I don’t condone, but Kayihura was doing a very difficult Job. Policing uganda is a nightmare. Was it OK to leave Criminal roam the city unchallenged. Uganda has had a difficult history with criminality because of frequently changing governments. Criminal have alway liked it when government change. Gen. Kale Kayihura was an obstacle, the criminal gangs in Kampala didn’t want security to get in their way

    Remember Blair and Bush are running FREE after their armies killing 1,000,000 in Iraq. Can Uganda or the UN sanction them for human right violations in Iraq War? Let Africans especially ugandans start discovering themselves. ANDREW M. MWENDA is right to condemn unbalanced USA

    • But Wanjala, two wrongs do not make a right. If Gen Kayihura chose to do the difficult job of containing wrong doers, it does not mean he had also to become a wrongdoer. And mark you, by supporting Andrew Mwenda arguments, you risk being bundle under the umbrella of the wrongdoers who are encouraging impunity; especially human rights violations.

  8. I once read a book ” But who prays for Satan ?”. It’s quite tempting to substitute that for ” but who sanctions America?”. I honestly don’t believe that weilding the power to sanction necessarily makes you right. Kale did commit crimes, no doubt, and so do American military personnel. What happened when the chief prosecutor tried to open a can of worms as regards human rights abuses committed by American troops? Come on State department, kale is dirty but your duplicity makes him clean.

  9. Good analysis

  10. “Powers from above”a.k.a “Powers from M7”

  11. In the 1600’s a priest like John Gerald and Ann Askew a poet were tortured at the Tower of London in the name of Religion,in USA Guantanamo bay is known for torturing hard core criminals what does this say about torture under different governments?Some torture because some elements in society are just out of order but for Uganda’s case; incidences of torture were unheard of not until muslim clerics and prominent Ugandans began being assassinated and of course the behavior of people power followers at times deserves a slap or two.

    The admissibility of Cases concerning political disagreements are normally difficult to present because the key witnesses are not normally credible they tend to retract their statements a good example is the Kenyatta ‘s case at ICC.

    Rajab is the one who is good at cramming peoples’s age how old is Kayihura?Its difficult to believe that Kayihura is a poor man because most westerners in Uganda are know for living large and dipping their hands in the till may be if he was in the same age bracket like Adhola i would believe that he is not taken up by earthy possessions.

    Most of the 1st world embassies in Uganda are located in Nakasero,Bugolobi and Kololo where you are greeted with nice aroma of food and the scent of the queen of the night fills the air at night.

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