Court Martial Drops Charges Against Former IGP Gen Kayihura

The General Court Martial has withdrawn all criminal charges against the former Inspector General of Police-IGP General Kale Kayihura.

The charges including failure to protect war materials, failure to supervise police officers, and abetting kidnap were withdrawn on Wednesday before a seven-member panel led by Brigadier General Freeman Robert Mugabe.

On August 24, 2018, Kayihura appeared before the seven-member panel of the UPDF General Court Martial presided over by then Chairman, Lt. General Andrew Gutti to plead to the charges. He had earlier been arrested from his upcountry home in Kashagama in Lyantonde District before being airlifted to Kampala.

The prosecution said 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 was convicted of the same crimes and has since served his sentence.

The group was accused of disrupting opposition rallies in several parts of the country.

The prosecution further alleged 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.

Kayihura 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.

When the case came up on Wednesday, the Prosecution led by Lt Col Raphael Mugisha and Private Regina Nanzala said they had instructions to withdraw charges against Kayihura. He said that the withdrawal document was signed by the Director of Prosecutions in the army and asked that the charges against Kayihura be withdrawn.

Brigadier Freeman was left with no choice but to read the withdrawal document tendered before him and consequently to discharge Kayihura saying he is now a free man.

Kayihura who appeared in the dock in a black suit without his lawyers thanked President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, his friends, and well-wishers for standing with him throughout all this time.

Kayihura has gone back chanting slogans of freedom at last saying that he had never lost confidence. He was retired from the army about two months ago.

In 2021 during the presidential campaigns in Kisoro District, NRM led by Kisoro District LCV Chairperson, Abel Bizimana asked Museveni to pardon Kayihura.

In his response, Museveni said Kayihura was their person as the National Resistance Movement and promised to talk to UPDF prosecutors and have him forgiven.

Michael Niyonsaba, the Kisoro District NRM Youth Coordinator said that Kayihura started many projects in Kisoro that employed several youths and had since stalled since his movements were restricted to Kampala and Wakiso districts as part of his bail condition set by the Court-martial.

Although the case against Kayihura had stalled immediately when he was charged and given bail, he has been reporting to court Registrar Col John Bizimana on a monthly basis as ordered by General Gutti.

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