Kayihura set to conclude military service as Museveni withdraws all charges

Former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen Kale Kayihura, is scheduled to retire from the army later this month, according to the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF). The UPDF confirmed that he is one of ten generals who will be retiring from the military. Reports suggest that the army court officials met with President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the commander in chief of the armed forces, to discuss the criminal charges against Kayihura.

Kayihura, who has been on bail since 2020, is facing charges of failure to protect war materials, failure to supervise police officers, and abetting kidnap. There have been unverified claims that Museveni has agreed to drop all charges against Kayihura. Although the UPDF deputy spokesperson, Col Deo Akiiki, did not comment on the meeting between the president and the army court, he confirmed that Kayihura is set to retire this month.

Akiiki stated, “What I can confirm is that the general will be among the 10 generals to retire from the UPDF. We wish the general the best of his retirement time, and we shall always consult him as one of the mentors of most of us remaining behind in active service.”

Kayihura, holding the rank of a four-star general, is the most senior among the ten retiring senior military officers. The list includes major generals Wasswa Mutesaasira and Joseph Arocha, who are two ranks below Kayihura, as well as brigadiers Steven Oluka, Augustine Atwooki, and others, who are three ranks below the former IGP.

Kayihura was dismissed from the position of IGP on March 4, 2018, after serving for over 12 years. He was replaced by his then-deputy Martins Okoth Ochola. In June of the same year, he was arrested by the army, led by then deputy chief of defence forces Wilson Mbadi, who is now the chief of defence forces.

During his tenure as IGP, Kayihura proposed holding suspects of capital offenses, such as murder, terrorism, and robbery, for a minimum of 90 days before taking them to court, to allow investigators to gather sufficient evidence for successful prosecutions.

Following his arrest by the army, Kayihura was detained at the military police headquarters in Makindye for 76 days without trial. Subsequently, he was arraigned in the court martial and faced three charges. The first count accused him of failing to protect war materials, while the second count alleged that he failed to supervise and ensure accountability for arms and ammunition issued to specialized units under the office of the IGP. The third count accused Kayihura of aiding and abetting kidnapping in Uganda.

In order for Kayihura to regain complete freedom, these charges must be dropped before his retirement and he must receive clearance from the military court. Otherwise, he will remain a suspect on trial even after retiring. Kayihura has been under house arrest since 2018, and his properties have been seized by the US and Europe over alleged human rights abuses and violations.

Despite the challenges Kayihura has faced in recent years, he is recognized for his contributions to the transformation of the police force, including increasing its numbers, improving training, fleet and weaponry, and establishing structures. When Kayihura assumed the position in 2005, the police force comprised 14,000 officers, and when he left in 2018, the figure had grown to 46,000. He oversaw the construction of the current police headquarters in Naguru, established the forensic directorate, set up regional and district police offices, and implemented Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera systems. He also encouraged the recruitment of

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