Kale Kayihura, Nine Others to Retire From UPDF

Former Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura will retire from the UPDF this month.

While he is still facing charges at the General Court Martial, the UPDF has confirmed that he is among nine other generals lined up for retirement from the military.

Various sources on Friday intimated the General Court Martial met the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, President Yoweri Museveni over the criminal charges brought against Kayihura.

The former Police chief was charged with failure to protect war materials, failure to supervise police officers, and abetting kidnap. Kayihura has been on bail since 2020. There have been reports that the President had agreed that the charges against Kayihura should be dropped by the Mankind-based General Court Martial to allow him to retire from the UPDF.

While the UPDF Deputy Spokesperson, Col, Deo Akiiki did not comment about the meeting between the President and the General Court Martial, he said whoever is asking about the status of Gen Kayihura should know that he is set to retire this month.

“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,” Col Akiiki said.

At the rank of a four-star General, Kayihura is the most senior among the 10 retiring senior military officers. If the list of retiring officers does not change as it has sometimes happened, Gen Kayihura is two and three ranks ahead of other retiring Generals.

The list has Major Generals, Wasswa Mutesaasira and Joseph Arocha who are two ranks below Gen Kayihura while Brigadiers, Steven Oluka, Augustine Atwooki, and others are three ranks below the former IGP.

Gen Kayihura was on March 4, 2018, sacked from the position of IGP which he had held for over 12 years, and was replaced by his then-deputy Martin Okoth Ochola.

In June of the same year, he was arrested in an operation spearheaded by then deputy Chief of Defence Forces- CDF Wilson Mbadi who is now the Chief of Defence Forces.

In his last days as IGP, Gen Kayihura had proposed that suspects with capital offences like murder, terrorism, and robbery be held for at least 90 days before being taken to court to enable investigators to gather more than enough evidence for a successful prosecution.

After being arrested by the Army he served, Gen Kayihura was detained at Military Police headquarters at Makindye for 76 days without trial. He was later arraigned in the Court Martial where he was charged with three counts: The first count was the failure to protect war materials contrary to section 122 (1) (2) of the UPDF Act 2005.

The particulars of this count indicated that between 2010 and 2018, Gen Kayihura allowed the use of arms and ammunition by unauthorized persons including members of the BodaBoda 2010 headed by Abdullah Kitatta who was jailed before him.

The second count was that Gen Kayihura failed to supervise and ensure accountability for the arms and ammunition issued to specialized units under the office of the IGP; the Flying Squad, the Specialized Operations Unit, the Witness Protection Unit and the Crime Intelligence Directorate of Uganda Police Force. The third count slapped against Gen Kayihura was aiding and abetting kidnapping from Uganda.

He allegedly committed this offence between 2012 and 2016. He by omission and commission aided and abetted the actions of subordinate police officers and others on various occasions without hindrance to kidnap and illegally repatriated Rwandan exiles, refugees, and Ugandan citizens to Rwanda including former Rwandan presidential guard Lt Joel Mutabaazi, Jackson Karemera alias Ndiga and Sgt Innocent Kalisa.

“The meetings have been going on behind the scenes and he will be cleared before the official retirement from the military. Even his legal team led by his lawyer Jet Tumwebaze has been part of his retirement preparation and everything is almost done,” the source said.

However, efforts to speak to Tumwebaze were futile as he did not pick up the call. For Gen Kayihura to regain his total freedom, these charges must be dropped before he is retired and gets clearance from the military court. Without clearance, otherwise, Gen Kayihura will remain a suspect on trial even in his retirement.

Despite the troublesome incidents Gen Kayihura has faced in the last five years, he is credited for transforming the police force in terms of numbers, training, fleet, weaponry, and setting up structures.

Gen Kayihura replaced his namesake Gen Edward Katumba Wamala in 2005 when the police force numbers stood at 14,000 but he left in 2018 when the figures had grown to 46,000.

He found police renting along Parliament Avenue but left it in its permanent storied structure serving as the current headquarters at Naguru.

Gen Kayihura set up the forensic directorate, built several regional and district police offices, spearheaded the installation of Closed Circuit Television –CCTV cameras, and started the construction of police housing units, he encouraged, supported, and recruited young athletes into the police force and they have won the country numerous Olympics and Common Wealth gold medals.

If nothing changes, Gen Kayihura is set to retire a billionaire since he will have to receive all five years’ salary. Besides, during his indictment, UPDF leadership increased a General’s salary from slightly over three million shillings to 15 million shillings.

In the recent past, the media has reported that Brigadiers and Major Generals have been receiving a retirement package of 400 million shillings to 600 million shillings accompanied by a house worth 200 million shillings. This was even before the salary for senior officers was raised to 15 million shillings.

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