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Kayihura leaves behind a grim legacy

Leighann Spencer | AFRICAN ARGUMENTS |  Last month, Uganda experienced a senior changing of the guard as Kale Kayihura was officially replaced as Inspector General of Police. The prominent figure had been head of the Uganda Police Force for over 12 years, and his contract had been renewed for another three years less than a year ago. But in a surprising move earlier this month, he was abruptly dismissed by President Yoweri Museveni.

Given his long-standing closeness to the president, Kayihura’s removal has raised several questions. Speculation as to why he was let go includes the former police chief’s rivalry with Minister of Security Henry Tumukunde, who was also sacked, and his questionable relationship with Rwandan operatives.

Whatever the reasons, however, one thing that is clear is that Kayihura’s tenure was mired in controversy. As Uganda’s first Inspector General of Police after the restoration of multi-party politics in 2005, he became known as a brutal suppressor of the opposition and the head of a Force which became increasingly politicised.

Although Kayihura improved the Uganda Police Force in terms of recruitment, training, and its budget allowance, other initiatives were less positive.



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