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Uganda: Gen Kayihura out, his popularity to succeed Museveni, ties with Rwanda in his plans

Uganda: Gen Kayihura out, his popularity to succeed Museveni, ties with Rwanda in his plans
5-03-2018 | By Karegeya Jean Baptiste | Hit 1246 | Comment

According to Chimpreports, Gen Kale Kayihura was appointed as Inspector General of Police in 2005, as Uganda prepared for decisive presidential elections that would pit President Museveni and his main challenger Dr Kizza Besigye.

At Makerere University, where he usually attended public dialogues, Kayihura was seen as a potential successor of President Museveni. It’s widely held in some circles that the Rwandan government closely works with Kayihura whom it supports to take power when Museveni retires. Many saw Kayihura as a close ally of the Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his Security forces which are blamed for the kidnap, harassment and killing of Rwandan refugees in Uganda. Kayihura is related to former Chief Inspector of Rwanda Defence Forces, Gen (Rtd) Jack Nziza. He has as well worked with Rwanda Police Force in security training programmes and combating cross border crimes. Chimpreports.

Popularity of Makelele University students

At Makerere University, where he usually attended public dialogues, Kayihura was seen as a potential successor of President Museveni. Students would attentively listen to his inspirational speeches and camp outside the Main Building to shake his hands. It was an honour being known to the IGP, a situation that saw University students form groups such as Crime Preventers.

At one time, he told students at the University Building: “We fought hard to take power. We can’t let it go. Power is not given, it’s taken.

Kayihura had deeds, that might meet Museveni’s expectations, who appointed him hoping to address the laziness, corruption, political correctness and ineffective human resource in police.

Therefore Kayihura’s responsibility was cut out for him – develop a powerful human resource to enforce law and order; put an end to corruption and deal with 21st century challenges such as terrorism and cybercrime.

Kayihura performed so well in his first years as he laid-off aged and tired officers, recruited thousands of new cops, created key departments in police such as Counter Terrorism, Forensics Investigators, anti-cybercrime, canine etc.

He also empowered his officers to speak and act with authority. Many will see Kayihura as the man who undoubtedly transformed Uganda Police to address the policing challenges in the 21st century.

Ties with Rwanda

Toward the end of his reign, Kayihura was reported to have nurtured presidential ambitions which were being supported by the Rwandan government. It’s widely held in some circles that the Rwandan government closely works with Kayihura whom it supports to take power when Museveni retires.

Kayihura also was a victim of the troubled Uganda-Rwanda bilateral ties. Many saw Kayihura as a close ally of the Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his Security forces which are blamed for the kidnap, harassment and killing of Rwandan refugees in Uganda.

Kayihura is related to former Chief Inspector of Rwanda Defence Forces, Gen (Rtd) Jack Nziza, and has as well worked with Rwanda Police Force in security training programmes and combating cross border crimes, according to the uganda based paper.

It’s also said one of causes of Kayihura’s bad blood with Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde is the latter’s belief that the police chief is so close to the Kigali establishment.

Tumukunde served as the head of UPDF’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) at a time when Uganda’s ties with Rwanda were strained.

However, due to diplomatic efforts led by then Ugandan ambassador to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero and his counterpart Mugambage, relations between the two countries were fully restored, even though rumours and intelligence reports could ignite a new cold war between the two brotherly neighbours.

Rwandan Ambassador to Uganda, Rtd Maj Gen Frank Mugambage denied the charge, saying his government had no interest in propping up Kayihura to succeed Museveni.

“Those who want to create falsehoods because of internal wrangles with Kayihura can come up with anything, Rwanda’s agenda is for development” and will “continue to work with neighbours” to realise common objectives in the areas of security and infrastructure development.”

Pressed to explain claims that Kigali had a huge interest in determining the post-Museveni leadership for Rwanda’s political stability, Mugambage responded: “That’s a complete falsehood. Why would Rwanda be interested in who leads Uganda? It’s a Ugandan affair.”

“Rwanda has a lot of things to do. We just see all this in the media. There is nothing like that,” said Mugambage, who has served as Rwanda’s top diplomat to Uganda for many years.


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