Government defends Kayihura’s long detention without trial

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, News

Government has for the first time cleared the air about the long detention of former Inspector General of Police, Gen.Kale Kayihura.

Having been fired as police boss on March 4, Kayihura was on June 13 arrested from his country home in Kashagama, Lyantonde district by the army before being airlifted to Kampala and detained at Makindye military police barracks.

A number of people have since his arrest come out to request government to arraign Gen.Kayihura in courts of law so as to determine his fate but government has since been tightlipped over the matter, almost two months later.

On Thursday, Members of Parliament tasked government to explain the former police boss’ long detention without trial.

In response, the Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda told parliament that when the right time comes, Kayihura would be arraigned in court for answer charges against him.

“You know the former IGP is a senior officer   of the UPDF, he is being handled according to the right procedures of handling such an officer,”Rugunda told the August house.

Asked to clear the air on media reports about 4000 guns that went missing from police, the leader of government business in parliament disputed the reports as not being correct.

“I don’t believe the media reports but I have discussed the matter with the security minister and other security officials, investigation is being carried out.”

The army on June 13 arrested  Gen. Kayihura from his country home in Kashagama, Lyantonde district   before being airlifted to Kampala for what was termed as ‘questioning’ over some issues.

In the following days, a military operation would lead to arrest of a number of senior police and army officers believed to be close friends to the former police chief.

Among those arrested included   the former cyber-crime head Richard Ndaboine, former crime intelligence director Col Ndahura Atwooki, the former Flying Squad commander Herbert Muhangi, former Professional Standards Unit Commander Good Mwesigwa and Lt Col Peter Musherure, the former deputy police director of crime intelligence among others.

The army has since the arrest of Gen.Kayihura and his close allies been tightlipped on the charges against them prompting many to say that the group was arrested over charges connected to espionage, kidnap and organised crime.

Speaking to journalists in June, the Internal Affairs Minister, Gen.Jeje Odong said the arrest of Kayihura and several police commanders was for a reason.

“It would be funny to come to your house and pick you without any problem,” the minister said.

“The fact that police officers have been picked shows there is a prema facie case against them.”

In common law, prima facie denotes evidence that, unless rebutted, would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact.

The minister was however, quick to say that he could not add more onto it noting  that divulging more information would jeopardize the situation.

“This is like putting potatoes in a pot on fire, you don’t just remove it before it is ready. Allow it to be cooked more and will be served when it is ready,” Gen. Jeje Odong said.

Speaking to NBS television recently, Jet Tumwebaze, a lawyer with Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) the law firm appointed to provide legal services for the former police chief said he has never been interrogated or recorded any statement since his arrest.

“Gen. Kayihura hasn’t yet recorded any ink of statement, he has not yet been interrogated by the military, Gen. Kale hasn’t been charged with any of the allegations in the media,”Tumwebaze said.

He added, “By the time you work in the military for 33 years, a summon doesn’t sway you. Gen. Kayihura is innocent of all the crimes the media has labeled against him.”

 

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