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Kisoro youth accuse PPS office of blocking Kayihura’s quest for freedom

General Kale Kayihura in the dock. File Photo

Kisoro, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | As former Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura starts seeing a ray of hope years since he was court martialed and placed under restriction on obtaining bail, it emerges the now public pressure from influential sources was preceded, actually galvanized by group of more than 1,000 youth from Kisoro district.

It transpires that the one thousand Kisoro youth petitioned the Commander Land Forces Lt General Muhoozi Kainerugaba demanding him to ask the head of state to drop charges against former Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura.

The petition made four months ago dated August 23rd 2021 was received by the Land Forces office. It is emerging a few days after, Kainerugaba posted on his Twitter handle requesting the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to pardon Kayihura who is out on bail on charges related to failure to protect war materials.

“Gen K Kayihura was one of those special cadres in the early 1990s who inspired us to serve our nation. Others were late Generals Mayombo and Kazini. If he made mistakes, let us use revolutionary methods of work to rectify them. I request the CIC to forgive and rehabilitate him”, Kainerugaba posted.

It is however not yet acknowledged if Kainerugaba’s post was informed by the petition by these youth.  Acknowledging the youths petition would not in anyway hurt Gen Kainerugaba since it would further prove that he was also representing the wishes of the youth, especially at a time when he has also even more recently complained of being undermined by older generals along his military career.

According to the petition, a copy of which has been seen by Uganda Radio Network, the youth led by Michael Niyonsaba say that since February 2021, they have written to the head of state President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni requesting to meet him but they have reportedly been frustrated despite their February 1st and June 2021, letters to the President.

“We have reliable information from the office of the President that the same letter reached the President and he indeed put a minute directing the PPS office (Principal Private Secretary) and General Court Martial on the same matter,” reads the petition. “The latest Information we got from our correspondent in the office of the President was that he was being threatened by the PPS office on why he was following up on the matter on our behalf. The same PPS office has since held the same letter up to now”, reads the petition.

It adds, “We are so much concerned about the gross mismanagement of this matter by the PPS office and hence we seek assistance from you on the same matter or if there is a way you can help us meet H.E the President since it was our primary interest in this matter.”

Our reporter however could not verify the allegations levied against the office of the PPS since the Presidential Press Secretary Lindah Nabusaayi couldn’t be reached via phone over the same.

The youth further add that the opposition specifically People Power pre-registration name of the youth-led NUP political party, had infiltrated Kisoro but they are not ready to hand over Kisoro to any “wrong hands”, a reason they say they are requesting Kainerugaba to support them and stand with them in times when they have pressing issues like demanding for the dismissal of charges against Kayihura.

The Kisoro youth also request Gen Kainerugaba to give them hope for the future now that the president is ageing gracefully.

“The other issue we would love to bring to your attention is that our beloved President is aging gracefully and we as the youth of Kisoro are looking at you as our renewed hope for the future,” reads their petition. “We fought a terrible war in the last elections. The People Power had infiltrated Kisoro, we have a detailed report.”

It adds that all in all the youth need to be allowed to meet Kainerugaba to discuss the aforementioned matter and more of the same.

One of the petitioners Rogers Manishimwe says previously, they approached the former Chief of Defense Forces David Muhoozi but they didn’t succeed, thus going through the first son Kainerugaba.

Manishimwe says that General Kayihura was their hero in Kisoro and made them love the ruling government but they were shocked seeing him getting arrested and arraigned in court.

According to the youth, due to the terms and conditions put on Kayihura as he was being granted bail, some of the beneficial projects he had put in place for them to fight unemployment have since suffered a huge setback.

Kayihura’s problems started on August 24, 2018, when he was arraigned before the General Court Martial in Kampala to plead to charges of failure to protect war materials, failure to supervise police officers and abetting kidnap.

It is alleged 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 has since been found guilty of related crimes.

Kitatta’s group was severally accused of disrupting events of people opposed to NRM’s leadership in several parts of the country.

The court also heard that by commission and omission, Kayihura aided and abetted the actions of subordinate police officers to kidnap and illegally repatriate Rwandan exiles, and refugees to Rwanda.

Kayihura was also accused 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.

The records also indicate that Kayihura who holds a Masters in Law and Diploma in Legal Practice, his movements were restricted within Wakiso and Kampala districts and he only moves beyond these districts with permission from court.

The 66-year-old who is yet to be retired from UPDF had served as a Police Chief for 13 years -the longest in Uganda’s history – before he fell out with the state.

About a year ago, Museveni promised that he was going to talk to the military prosecutors to have Kayihura’s charges dropped as requested by the National Resistance Movement leaders in Kisoro during the recently concluded general election campaigns. But the charges are still pending.

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One comment

  1. The Court Martial should give jurisdiction on the case.

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