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FULL TEXT: Kayihura’s response to US sanctions


Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Gen. Kale Kayihura has responded to Friday’s decision by the US government to place sanctions on him after citing evidence of corruption and human rights abuses, including torture.

Kayihura, 62, was sacked by President Yoweri Museveni in March 2018 and arrested in June, but denied a raft of charges in the military court. He is out on bail.

The former Inspector General of Police  has a masters in law. Kayihura graduated in 1978 from Makerere University and proceeded to the London School of Economics from where he graduated with the degree of Master of Laws (LLM), in 1982, at age 26.



I have been informed about the statement of the United States Department of the Treasury issued on the 13th of September 2019. In the baseless, unverified and outrageous statement, I am accused that while I was working as Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Uganda, I engaged in Human Rights violations, corruption, and smuggling drugs, gold and wildlife. This is not only absolutely false but outrageous and infuriating, especially that these accusations and decisions have been made without according me an opportunity to respond to them, whereby I would give evidence to the contrary. The United States Government was known as a government that believed in due process, rule of law and democracy. There was absolutely no due process accorded to me before false wild and defamatory statements about my person and my record were issued from Washington, without any bother to verify such allegations, which are in actual fact against the state of Uganda for which I was working.

To set the record straight, I am an upright citizen of Uganda, who whether in my public or private capacity is pro-people and I have never been corrupt as alleged, or at all.

I do not own and have never owed any property in the United States, or anywhere else outside Uganda. I do not have any bank accounts outside my country, Uganda. The insinuations in the statement that I could own any property outside Uganda are totally fabricated and malicious. The freezing of my so-called assets therefore, is comical.

I reject completely the characterization of the Uganda Police Force as some criminal outfit that I led. Under my tenure, we grew the force to almost 40,000 people and introduced a number of departments to serve the public better.

The statement from the Treasury is not just factually inaccurate. It is not just procedurally improper. It is not just an absolute travesty of justice, it is also extremely hypocritical. The fact is that the FBI worked closely with me and with units of police that were involved in fighting crime, including the Flying Squad. They were not scandalised by my leadership but actually gave me an award for my contribution in the fight against terror. There is no high profile case in which our units did not liaise with the FBI. They participated in, for example, the investigations into the assassinations of the late Joan Kagezi and the late Andrew Felix Kaweesi, as well as the 2010 terror case. The Treasury would thus do well to sanction those officers also.
The FBI officers were not spared the false allegations I had become accustomed to. In fact, in the East African Court of Justice in the High Court of Uganda, and in a court in London, allegations were made about torture of the 2010 terrorist suspects, where the FBI was specifically mentioned, and FBI officers testified.

To have people who should have a better context of the challenges we faced and of the effort we undertook in the fight against terror, issue such nonsensical statements, is truly the height of hypocrisy. The Treasure Secretary would be well advised to conduct some research before speaking out against individual persons. For the record, investigations into the murders of the late Joan Kagezi and Andrew Felix Kaweesi were also conducted with help from the FBI. In the case of the latter, the FBI were at the scene of the crime to help us reconstruct it. The FBI also worked with Flying Squad. Thus, instead of searching for my non-existent US properties, the Treasury should instead be helping in the fight against global terror.

The allegations of Human Rights abuses in relation to Nalufenya, purportedly committed under my watch are false and without foundation. There is no person who was tortured under my instruction or with my knowledge in a police facility in Uganda. In fact, a number of Governmental and Non-Governmental institutions, in particular the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and the Uganda Human Rights Commission, visited Nalufenya from time to time. They fully interacted with the detained suspects, and received first-hand information that there were no complaints of their conditions while in detention. Indeed, in their report, the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights stated that there was no torture of suspects taking place in Nalufenya.

As a matter of fact, it is important to point out that during my watch and tenure, I institutionalised in the Uganda Police Force, the observance of Human Rights and the fight against corruption by establishing such departments as the Professional Standards Unit and the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services.Whenever any complaints were brought to my attention, I caused investigations of the same, and those culpable were handled through the due process of law either in civil courts or the Police Disciplinary Courts. A case in point is the Mayor who was tortured before he reached Nalufenya, and those officers were arrested, charged and prosecuted.

I find the allegations that I engaged in illegal transactions, such as the smuggling of drugs, gold and wildlife outrageous and insulting. This would be laughable if it were not such a grievous malignment of my character. Those who know me find these accusations absurd and extremely frustrating, to say the least. It is all the more scandalous since the American authorities cannot even specify the allegations and give me an opportunity to respond. The due process of law is disappearing in Washington and standards have slipped, but has it become so cavalier in its disregard for due process?

Let me also clarify on the role of the Flying Squad within the Uganda Police Force. I inherited some of these units of the force, where prior the department was called the Violent Crimes Crack Unit, then the Rapid Response Unit, and finally Flying Squad. This unit was to comprise a group of police officers who respond rapidly to criminal and violent incidents. These officers helped in resolving cases such as preventing murders, recovering illegal firearms and more. Units like these are created to respond to the changing nature of the criminal underworld. Any indiscipline in the force would be handled without stopping the evolution of the police into a force that can carry out its constitutional mandate of preventing and detecting crime. These units simply supplement the work of the territorial police, and even the United States Police contain such units. Criminalising them would only help crime thrive. The Uganda Police, and myself as its former head, did everything we could to fight crime, including receiving help from the FBI, setting up units like Flying Squad, expanding the force, and equipping its directorates.

That is why during my tenure, we worked greatly to expand Fire Brigade and Traffic, a Legal Unit as aforementioned, building the K9 Unit, on Forensics, creating a Pathology Department, Community Police, and Rapid Response. I therefore reject completely the characterisation of myself and the Uganda Police under me, put forward by this statement from the United States. Such a statement would be the equivalent of painting American security departments with the broad brush strokes of the controversies surrounding the Abu Ghraib prison, notorious for torture, Guantanamo Bay, and the police shootings of ethnic minorities.

By and large, the almost 40,000 police officers I left behind work as public servants for the betterment of Uganda, our sovereign country, and during my time the police were brought closer to the people. I too always acted in good faith for God and my country.

The idea that I used corruption to entrench my political position is completely nonsensical. The IGP in Uganda is appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament. There is no space for me to campaign and use corruption to keep my office. Any assertions of the sort are the result of poor research by American authorities. It is only in the United States where Police leaders are elected and can hence entrench their positions politically.

It is truly surprising that the US Government would pass judgement, make decisions and take actions on me based on deceitful propaganda, rather than facts and the truth. These allegations fit the now discredited narrative, which has been perpetrated by intriguers in Uganda since I left the Uganda Police Force. Their objective was to falsely criminalize me and accuse me of all sorts of crimes in order to malign me and destroy my public persona.

Regarding the sanctions on myself, my wife, and my children – I find them unfortunate because it is legally, morally, and factually baseless. In any case, neither I nor my family had any plans to travel to the United States, and therefore do not have any need to apply for visas to go there. There was no need to bring my family into a statement based on falsehoods and fabrications.

I find it hypocritical that the United States Government authorities could claim to uphold Human Rights yet in their letter and action, they fall below the lowest standards of the due process of law. How can they accuse, judge and condemn a person without the basic decency to respect the principles of natural justice, specifically, affording a person the opportunity and the rightto be heard?

To family, friends and well-wishers in Uganda and abroad, I wish to assure you of my innocence. This is only the latest part of an ordeal we have had to endure since I left public office in March 2018. It is particularly curious that this statement has come now, at a time when the truth about my innocence in relation to the multiple allegations against me were coming to light. And at the same time, when the conspiratorial plots to criminally frame me were finally being exposed to the country and the world, most recently in the Parliament of Uganda.

Lastly, I view the false allegations and the ridiculous action as an attack on the sovereignty of Uganda, as I and the Uganda Police Force are targeted in an official capacity. To sit in Washington and make the spurious and unproven baseless allegations, and take action on them without any effort to establish any truth, against a former IGP and a National Police Force is the highest form of disrespect of a foreign country.

I remain resolute against this new wave of actions based on concoctions and lies.

Gen. Kale Kayihura
14 September 2019


  1. IGP killed so many people in Uganda 🇺🇬, Kasese saga was number one action, Nalufenya, Andrew Felix Kawesi, Joan Kagezi just to mention but a few. He worked so hard to keep Yoweri Museven in power for decades, i just cant type all the mess that guy did to my citizens. He deserves rope hunging and serves as example to the rest people in Uganda and world at-large

    • Where’s the proof of your statements. Yo acting like Trumps people. Their police force is the worst, killing blacks and hispanics with impunity. Let them sort out their mess first.
      Statements like those yo making bore many of us.

  2. Kayihura u 4get tht the treasury dept is not a court. Plus, u hv no rt to a U.S. visa. The U.S. cn dent u a visa fr any rson. If everyone tht hd sanctions imposed on thm ws gvn a hearing, gets hard fr gvt stocks enforce policy.

  3. Muwanga the Ugandan

    I can not say Kayihura is innocent or guilty. But what I can say is he is right about the US statement being shallow and lacking specifics or details on any crimes he may have committed. The content also seems to be based on hearsay as it does not mention any specific scenario. And our Police Force under Kayihura was supported by the US in a number of activities(like investigations and training) and equipment which same actions may have led to any actions they refer to now albeit with sketchy details. I think this makes US also culpable against we the Ugandans in any case they present against Kayihura and/or the UPF. These days we are woke and cannot just be played by the US approach.

    That said, the US (this same state department) cancelled the visa of the ICC Prosecutor recently after her office announced that they would be investigating American soldiers who allegedly tortured prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison and several Iraq prisons. The US publically said that American soldiers would not be “touched” for these alleged crimes nor investigated for the same. Never mind that these soldiers actions where filmed at one point and video circulated online prompting the US govt to apologise. This video was a clear indication of the torture commited by the US govt soldiers. After threatening the ICC, the case was dropped and the US human rights abusers are going to get away with torture and rape cases.

    Is this the same US that is claiming to safeguard human rights? After it has protected its own human rights abusers (who were exposed on camera)?

    I do not support Kale Kayihura and his misguided actions. But honestly, the US is living in a glass house and its recent disregard for human lives (by protecting alleged abusers and blocking investigations by this particular ICC prosecutor known for her justice principles) takes away its credibility to call out any human rights violations anywhere….until they can be exemplary in this fight.

    • Well reasoned Muwanga! It hurts that we are always looking for solutions, consolation and support from a ruthless, murderous and cruel butch! Afterall they trained and worked closely with the Flying Squad team, especially if there was the “smell” of Al Shabab

  4. Kiggundu Joseph dash

    Other remaining museveni men are coming in next. Watch your back museveni is not a saviour

  5. Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh also US govt thinks that we a happy with t.in fact they are the ones bringing all this.ts target is to start a war in Uganda such that they sell their fighting weapons and make our country like Libya.US leave us alone this is an independent country.the way u hate a Blackman is the way I hate u the White man.aishe!!!!!!!

  6. Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh also US govt thinks that we a happy with t.in fact they are the ones bringing all this.ts target is to start a war in Uganda such that they sell their fighting weapons and make our country like Libya.US leave us alone this is an independent country.the way u hate a Blackman is the way I hate u the White man.aishe!!!!!!!

  7. You people when will Uganda understand its potential .We have got more than enough education to organise our country. If you are lucking it call me on 0759 844670

  8. I totally disagree with whatever allegations put on our general .for all this time in service we cant learn to appreciate but rather start torturing and why cant we also dig deep to find out all the good things he had done

  9. I wish Uganda had an independent Parliament

  10. You people lets pray our country to have justice and fair instead of judging

  11. The former IGP could be right or not in his response to the allegations. The best he could do, would be to cooperate and appear before the ICC. Just like any other suspect would appear before any court. As citizens, we shall appreciate any outcome. Court is court.

  12. Lets learn how to handle our situations than always depending on those foriegner “whites”

  13. Uganda has a functioning governance mechanism as a Country, the president made it public that indeed weevils had penetrated Uganda Police and indeed action was taken and Gen Kayihura was aligned in court and the court process has to be followed. This means that systems are working. With the USA and EU, they have a right to decide who should go to their country and who should invest in their country. But with due respect, Uganda is also a sovereign country which should not be Policed by the USA and EU. Much as some individuals may be desperate for a change in governance, we have to appreciate that socio political and economic and technological issues Uganda is facing are factors which are supposed to be experienced by default but not as a gap in governance approach. We need to appreciate that USA and the EU are desperate to slow Uganda down. We need to think twice before praising the USA and EU for sanctioning our leaders. We need to ask ourselves why now when Uganda is declared a mid-level African producer of Oil? Why now when our leaders falling for China’s soft power? Why now when we have just signed an agreement with Russia for building our nuclear power? The USA has been celebrating Gen. Kayihura and giving him awards, what has changed overnight? They feel offended and they are looking for ways of humiliating our leaders. Libyans, Yemenis and Somalis are suffering because of their interference. The USA and EU want to disrupt the peace and the good political environment in Uganda to sale their weapons once the country goes into chaos.

  14. Most of the comments seem carefully chosen to cast Kayihura as an angel. In fact the USA is not even passing a verdict of guilt or innocence but once suspected it can be a basis to keep you sidelined as the USA is doing. Nothing strange and good enough Kayihura says neither he and family have interest to travel to the USA, so what is the hype about? Questions should be did he preside over a force that was violent, ill paid and corrupt and used excessive force – and he did little to control the force? Maybe as a euphemism for a big YES. No need to even waste time on investigation. Sovereign country? Common let us face the fact, no country is sovereign now the way the world is moving. If it were possible, you would the late Mugabe who tried to make Zimbabwe sovereign with all kinds of contradictions.

  15. Pipo from Mayuge are a good source of how your former IGP was corrupt.. They used to kill pipo in Kampala and then police rushes to Mayuge and arrest moslims who knew nothing… Hooo that man needs to be killed by cutting one part of his body every day

  16. Only those who never suffered because of Uganda police can say “he may be innocent”
    But for those who neared him, who were affected have the proof.
    Pipo who killed Bongo from Mayuge were not arrested instead a poor peasant who even bongo’s son pleeded to set him free was arrested. Up-to now his family does know where he is

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