The retirement of the former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen. Kale Edward Kayihura from the army has excited residents in his home district of Kisoro.
The army issued a statement on July 2, 2023, announcing the retirement of Kayihura and several other top officers from active military service.
The others include Lt. Gen. James Nakibus Lakara, Maj. Gen Samuel Wasswa Mutesasira, Maj Gen Joseph Arocha, Maj Gen David Kwakaalo, Brig Gen Austine Kasatwooki Kamanyire, and Brig Gen Stephen Oluka, among others. Mabel Mugisha, a relative of Kayihura, expressed great happiness upon hearing the news of his retirement.
Mugisha revealed that although they were saddened by the military court’s decision to restrict Kayihura from returning to his home district, they remained calm as they had no other choice. She eagerly awaits his return to Kisoro, free from any restrictions.
Michael Kwizera, a resident of Nyakabande sub-county, expressed his delight at Kayihura’s retirement, stating that it was long overdue. Kwizera believes that Kayihura was unfairly targeted by his enemies with fabricated accusations and that he had not committed any crimes during his tenure.
Kwizera also highlighted that Kayihura’s arrest revealed the extent of his popularity, particularly among the residents of Kisoro district. As a member of the Bafumbira community, Kwizera mentioned that they have forgiven those behind Kayihura’s arrest.
John Muftimukiza, a councilor representing Nyarusiza sub-county, expressed his happiness at Kayihura’s release, noting that President Museveni has fulfilled his promise to pardon him, as made during the 2020 political campaign. Muftimukiza believes that despite Kayihura’s retirement, he is still capable of undertaking specific assignments.
Wilson Kazimiri, a district councilor representing Chahi sub-county, also expressed his satisfaction with Kayihura’s retirement. Kazimiri acknowledged that mistakes were made during Kayihura’s tenure but believes that his overall service in the security sector should not be overlooked.
Kayihura faced charges of failure to protect war materials, failure to supervise police officers, and aiding and abetting kidnappings. He was granted bail in 2020. Kayihura was dismissed from his position as IGP in March 2018 after serving for over 12 years, and he was subsequently arrested in June of the same year.
During his time as IGP, Kayihura proposed extending the detention period for suspects with capital offenses to 90 days before their court appearance, allowing investigators more time to gather evidence for successful prosecutions. Following his arrest by the army, Kayihura was held at the military police headquarters in Makindye for 76 days without trial.
He was later brought before the court martial and faced charges related to the use of unauthorized arms and ammunition, failure to supervise specialized police units, and aiding and abetting kidnapping. These charges accused Kayihura of allowing unauthorized individuals, including members of the Boda Boda 2010 militia, to use arms and ammunition.
He was also accused of failing to ensure accountability for the arms issued to specialized police units and aiding and abetting the kidnapping and illegal repatriation of individuals to Rwanda.