The Internal Affairs Minister Gen.Jeje Odongo has said the arrest of former Inspector General of Police, Gen.Kale Kayihura and a number of senior police commanders was for a reason.
The army over a week ago arrested Gen. Kayihura from his country home in Kashagama, Lyantonde 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 police has since then never come out with a statement about the arrest of their men by the military.
However, responding a question from journalists about the arrest of some of the men who are directly under his docket as the Internal Affairs Minister, Gen.Jeje admitted there is a reason for the arrests.
“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 add that he could not add more onto it asking 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.
Since the arrest of senior army and police officers a few weeks ago, reports have pointed out to a number of charges to be preferred against them, including among others espionage, organised crime and kidnap.
The army spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire recently said that Gen.Kayihura who is detained at the Makindye military barracks is being questioned on a number of issues that he could not mention.
“The general was indeed flown to Kampala from his farm in Kashagama Lyantonde District and is being questioned on a matter the details of which cannot at this point be divulged,” said the statement from Brig.Karemire.
Speaking to NBS television on Thursday, Jet Tumwebaze, a lawyer with Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) the law firm appointed to provide legal services for the former police chief said he is being looked after well at Makindye.
“He is well. He sleeps in a house with a sitting room and a bedroom not a cell like some people have been saying,” Tumwebaze said.
The lawyer added that Kayihura has not yet recorded any statement neither has he been interrogated by the military.
“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.”
President Museveni last year said the police force was infiltrated with criminals, before asking the then Inspector General of Police, Gen.Kale Kayihura to clean ‘his ‘ house.