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Why anybody could defend Kayihura in Court


Why anybody could defend Kayihura in Court

Former IGP General Kale Kayihura

Former IGP General Kale Kayihura

For now, Lt. Gen. Edward Kalekyezi Kayihura, is cooling his heels in Makindye Military Barracks. It is utterly understandable if he cannot believe what has hit him in the solar plexus. Still, he is familiar with the surroundings because that is a similar place he used to consign other people to; and in some instances worse than Makindye.

Moreover, he is with his former acolyte, Abdallah Kitatta, of the infamous Bodaboda 2010, Kayihura’s skullduggery creation, who is on a number of charges including alleged murder or accessory to it; and stealing cars and selling them in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Some of Kitatta’s operatives are facing the charge of murdering the Case Clinic Accountant, Francis Ekalungar and incinerating his body.

Ten years ago in Kalerwe in Kampala, the Police, identifiable as “Kayihura’s” Special Police Constables (SPCs), shot and killed a boy of ten. Nothing was, or has been done to anybody for this crime. This is just one of the indescribable heinous acts attributed to Kayihura. It is not to mention either the tear-gassing of thousands of people for no fault of their own, or the numerous arrests of politicians for their contrary views to the NRM regime’s own.

In most of these acts, Kayihura came out of his Police cocoon to blame the Press for what he and “his people” did. Yet the moment he was held – it is not yet clear whether he has actually been arrested – or he is merely being held incommunicado. Brig. Richard Karemire now claims that Kayihura is excursively their military “baby” – probably to escape the demand for habeas corpus.

One of Kayihura’s co-accused, however, is seeking such a legal redress, the same thing they assiduously denied their victims. But the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission, Medi Kaggwa, was given audience; and coming out of that meeting, Kaggwa reported that Kayihura was “up-beat”.

Well and good! It is probably one of the reasons lawyers were queuing to represent him. Anybody – lawyer – would have wanted to do that, especially when the military has not preferred any charges against him. In an effort to avoid fake news, the only thing mentioned so far against Kayihura, is the case of arresting or referring Rwandan alleged kidnappers back to Kigali.

Why this gingerly manner of handling Kayihuira, who virtually every citizen loathed/loathes? This has to be found in the realms of secrecy or trickery.

If Kayihura is produced in the Military Tribunal, one of the things the Karemires have to contend with is the rank of the chairman of the tribunal as against Kayihura’s. Presently Andrew Guti is a lieutenant general, whereas Kayihura is a full general. Therefore, it is inappropriate for a lesser officer to try an officer of a higher rank.

However, some say that as long as both are at the general rank, Guti is entitled to sit in judgment of Kayihura. Or, that to facilitate this, otherwise minor blip of ranks, the Commander-in-Chief would have to demote Kayihura to a lesser rank, probably a colonel, so that he would appropriately salute a general.

But that would not prevent Kayihura from talking off his head, especially that he was acting under the orders of the officers above him – specifically, his Commander-in-Chief. In any case, he would refuse to talk in a Military Tribunal claiming that as Inspector General of Police, he was should be produced in a civilian court , because essentially he was acting in his capacity as a civilian officer, and not a soldier. In this instance, then Kayihura would claim that he is innocent of all charges heaped against him.

Equally, he would claim that he should be produced in a civilian court, and not tried in a military tribunal. And on going to the High Court, Kayihura would plead innocence of all charges as he was acting in his capacity as a soldier. Having left the military tribunal, he would not be eligible to be taken back to that court.

This is the puzzle that the NRM regime is facing; and it is why the Karemire’s are trying to hedge their bets. So any lawyer is seeing the easy chance of making billions of the Kayihura money for standing for him in court, because of the claim that he has no case to answer despite his nefarious acts and, therefore,  innocent. 




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Ikebesi Omoding is the acclaimed author of a weekly column titled: From the Outside Looking In

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