Museveni yet to instruct the Court Martial to drop Gen. Kayihura charges

Gen. Kayihura being questioned on sensitive matters – UPDF
Former IGP Kale Kayihura

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The General Court Martial has not yet received formal instructions from President Yoweri Museveni to drop criminal charges against the former Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura, this publication has learnt.

This comes about five months after President Museveni promised that he was going to talk to the military prosecutors to have Gen. Kayihura’s cases dropped as requested by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) leaders in Kisoro during the recently concluded election campaigns.

Following that promise, a group of 850 youths from Kisoro Development Network led by Michael Niyonsaba, two weeks after the January 14th 2021 elections petitioned the Court Martial chairperson Lt General Andrew Gutti inquiring about Mr. Museveni’s promise to speak to military prosecutors to pardon Gen. Kayihura.

As such, on February 2nd 2021, Lt General Gutti wrote to the Chief of Defense Forces General David Muhoozi also inquiring about the President’s promise after the youth’s petition.

However, when contacted the Registrar of the Court Martial, Major John Bizimana, about whether Museveni’s promises had materialized, he said that they had not yet received any information from the president.

According to Bizimana, he remembers Niyonsaba in a meeting with the Court Martial chairperson over the same issue but he doesn’t know how it ended.

“It was that boy (Niyonsaba) who came saying the President told us this and that he wanted to see the chairman. He went and saw the chairman but I don’t know what they talked. From that day up to now, I don’t know of anything,” said Bizimana.

But according to sources who preferred anonymity due to the sensitivity of military issues, the court is currently drafting a report as they plan to set Kayihura free any time.

Kayihura’s problems before the Court Martial started on August 24, 2018, when he was arraigned 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 similar crimes.

Kitatta’s group was severally accused of disrupting events of people opposed to Museveni’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, refugees and Ugandan citizens to Rwanda.

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Gen. Kayihura who is out on bail 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 whose movements were restricted within Wakiso and Kampala districts unless waived by court, has been reporting monthly to the Registrar’s office without fail as one of the conditions imposed on him.

But the Kisoro Development Youth leader Niyonsaba says they are disturbed by President Museveni’s delay to fulfill his pledges because Kayihura had reportedly set up some developmental projects to fight unemployment back home but were all frustrated due to the charges.