Pressure from at least two presidential candidates Patrick Oboi Amuriat (POA) of main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine of National Unity Platform (NUP) have compelled incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni to announce he will push for the former police chief Gen Kale Kayihura’s pardon.
Campaigning in Kisoro at the end of November 2020, Amuriat rallied the people of Kisoro not to vote Museveni for mistreating Kayihura, their son.
Kayihura served as Inspector General of Police (IGP) for 13 years until he was sacked in 2018.
By the time Museveni relieved him of his duties, Kayihura had been on the spot over bickering with then security minister Lt Gen (Rtd) Henry Kakurugu Tumukunde, murder of Wakiso women and Muslim leaders.
Kayihura was arrested over charges of aiding and abetting the kidnap and illegal repatriation of Rwandan refugees, failure to protect war materials by giving guns to Abdallah Kitata and his Boda Boda 2010 vigilante group members.
He spent days under detention before he was released on bail. To date, his travel remains restricted.
While in Kisoro, Amuriat told the Bafumbira that Museveni had used and dumped Kayihura.
“When a government fails to serve the people, that government is useless and should be removed. The people of Kisoro should be the last to vote for Mr. Museveni again because there is a good example of Museveni using people and then throwing them when he no longer needs them. Gen Kayihura is born in Kisoro, he helped fight for Museveni to gain power, he was used by Museveni to keep him in power but once he realized he did not need him, he kicked him in the mouth and sent him away,” Amuriat said during a a campaign meetings at Saza Grounds, Rubuguri Town Council in Kisoro Municipality, and at Nyanamo Trading Centre in Bukimbiri Sub County, Kisoro District.
“If Mr Museveni can do such a thing to his bush war friend, to his commander, to his inspector general of police, who are you here that Museveni can respect? He will continue using you after he gets the votes, he goes away, when he needs the votes, he comes back.”
Weeks later, Bobi Wine also used Kayihura’s sacking as a key campaign point in Kisoro.
“I used to tell my brother and friend Gen Kale Kayihura that Museveni is not a good man but he didn’t listen to me. As you all know, whenever Gen Kayihura wanted to preach the message against marijuana smoking in the ghetto, he could send me,” Bobi Wine said on December 16 in Kisoro.
Just over a month since Amuriat made Kayihura sacking and prosecution a key campaign issue, President Museveni has promised to pardon his ex-police chief.
“Kale Kayihura, just like the [Kisoro LCV] chairman said: there are those who committed heavy sins and we forgave them; so then why don’t we forgive him. Since you have requested and he is even our person, I will speak to the military prosecution and tell them your request and also add in my request to have him forgiven,” Museveni said while in Kisoro on January 04.
Over the months, some reports have claimed Kayihura was on his way back into Museveni’s government.