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Court Martial boss writes to CDF over Kayihura

Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura in the dock. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The General Court Martial chair Lt. General Andrew Gutti has written to the Chief of Defense Forces-CDF inquiring about President Yoweri Museveni’s promise to have the charges against the former police chief, Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura dropped.

Gutti was prompted to write to Gen. David Muhoozi after a group of youths approached him to inquire about Museveni’s promise to speak to military prosecutors to pardon Kayihura.

“… The above subject matter refers. Attached herein is a list of the group’s leadership as per our voice conversation yesterday. The youth approached me seeking progress on His Excellency’s promise on General Kale Kayihura case before this court while he was conducting his presidential campaign in Kisoro district,” reads Gutti’s February 2nd, 2021 letter in part.

The letter that was received by the CDF, General David Muhoozi, was a day later accompanied by another from a group of youths under Kisoro Development Network titled “NRM Youths (Kisoro Development Network) C/o Gen KK Coordination Network- KDN.”

The letter mentions some of the youth leaders in Kisoro who are interested in the outcomes of Museveni’s promise. According to the letter, Kisoro Development Network which comprises of 850 youths is led by Michael Ndiyonsaba and nine others. The other leaders are Abubaker Sebuhinja, Nicholas Nzayisenga, Rogers Manishimwe, Herbert Majangwe, Nicholas Mbabazi, Deus Habyarimana, Michael Monday and Richard Bemanza.

Last month while campaigning in Kisoro district, NRM leaders in the district led by Kisoro district LC 5 chairperson Abel Bizimana asked Museveni to pardon Kayihura who is battling charges of failure to protect war materials, failure to supervise police officers and abetting kidnap.

In his response, Museveni said Kayihura was their person as the National Resistance Movement and promised to talk to UPDF prosecutors and have him forgiven. Michael Niyonsaba, the Kisoro district NRM Youth Coordinator told URN in an earlier interview that during Museveni’s campaign tour in the district, they knelt down in the mud to please him and their LC 5 chairperson mobilized residents to overwhelmingly vote NRM to secure Kayihura’s release.

Niyonsaba claims that Kayihura started many projects in Kisoro that employed several youths and have since stalled since his movements were restricted to Kampala and Wakiso districts as part of his bail condition set by the Court-Martial.

About Kayihura’s charges

On August 24, 2018, Kayihura appeared before the seven member panel of the UPDF General Court Martial presided over by Lt. General Andrew Gutti to plead to charges of failure to protect war materials, failure to supervise police officers and abetting kidnap.

The prosecution contends that between 2010 and 2018, on various occasions, Kayihura issued firearms to unauthorized persons specifically members of Boda-boda 2010 under the leadership of Abdullah Kitatta who was convicted of similar crimes.

The group was severally accused of disrupting opposition rallies in several parts of the country. It is also alleged that by commission and omission, Kayihura aided and abetted the actions of subordinate police officers to kidnap and illegally repatriate Rwandan exiles, refugees and Ugandan citizens to Rwanda.

The military prosecutors also accused him of failure to supervise and ensure accountability for firearms and ammunition issued to specialized units in the police such as the Flying Squad Unit, Crime Intelligence and Special Operations Unit and Witness Protection Unit.

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