Resurrecting dead charges
That the security agencies are resurrecting these charges speaks volumes about the direction they intend to take in terms of pinning the accused, insiders say. Capt. Charles Ssekayita, who is representing Muhangi, based on Kayihura’s freedom to plea for bail for Muhangi at the last court martial sitting.
Ssekayita argued that Muhangi faces the same charges with former Police chief Gen. Kale Kayihura who was granted bail. “I pray that court follows the same precedence and grant Muhangi bail,” Ssekayita said.
Ssekayita pointed out that Muhangi had spent 290 days in detention at Makindye military barracks without trial.
“If the person is remanded for over 180 days, the Constitution stipulates that he is entitled to mandatory bail,” he said. He added that his client suffers from peptic ulcers that cannot be treated in detention.
With Kayihura out of jail and on the path to rehabilitation and freedom, everything appeared to point to possible freedom for Muhangi and others.
But the fresh investigations mean that these officers and the former police are not yet off the hook. The new charges mean they can be re-arrested even if they are granted bail.
Insiders say the security agencies have arrested many low ranking officers to implicate Kayihura. The plan according to highly placed sources is to get the arrested officers to confess crimes against Kale in exchange for their release.
Kayihura’s lawyer, Elison Karuhanga told The Independent that he was not aware of the fresh investigations but would not be surprised.
“What we have always been aware of is that there is an industry that manufactures fake news against him, why and by whom we do not know,” he said.
Karuhanga says that, no one asked Kayihura about the new accusations during the 70 days he was under military interrogation at Makindye Military Barracks and no one has asked him about the same ever since he was granted bail.
Yet at one point Kayihura faced up to 19 charges, according to his other lawyer, Jet Tumwebaze.
The latest charges follow others that appear intended to keep a noose around Kayihura.
Insiders say the ISO boss; retired Col. Kaka Bagyenda, in January sent a radio message to President Museveni and other security agencies that Gen. Kayihura has links to Australian-based Australia-based Ugandan cardiologist, Dr Aggrey Kiyingi. Kiyingi has been linked to rebel activities.
According a source familiar with the intelligence reports, ISO intelligence indicated that Kale had also formed a new terrorist group called People’s Agency and that the same group has been throwing leaflets around the country.
Apparently, ISO arrested a boda boda rider linked to the group. Upon interrogation, the rider took them to his house, where ISO found a drone and boom-making materials. ISO claimed to have credible evidence that Kale is the one who formed People’s Agency.
It is not the first time such accusations are emerging. In July, Kaka paraded before the press two youths who confessed to have participated in murdering people using machetes/pangas.
The youths accused Kayihura of having released such suspects when reported to him. Kaka said he would investigate.
The CMI had earlier arrested other Kayihura’s close aides; Senior Superintendent of Police Nixon Agasirwe, the former commander Special Operations Unit, Senior Commissioner of Police Joel Aguma, the commandant of the police Professional Standards Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police Magada, crime intelligence; Benon Atwebembeire, Sgt Abel Tumukunde, the Kampala Metropolitan Police flying squad commander, Faisal Katende, flying squad and Amon Kwarisima.
They were charged with unlawful possession of firearms and grenades ordinarily a monopoly of the Defence Forces.
The group was also charged with handing to the Rwanda government two prominent persons; one Lt. Joel Mutabazi; a former presidential guard for Rwanda President Paul Kagame who had sought refuge in Uganda, and Jackson Kalemera. According to court proceedings, the two officials were handed to Rwanda without their consent. But Rwandan authorities say these were handed to them through official channels.