Former inspector general of police (IGP) Gen Kale Kayihura is under arrest. Kayihura was picked up today from Lyantonde by army officers led by deputy chief of defence forces Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi and flown to army headquarters in Mbuya.
While authorities in the army and police don't confirm or deny that the former top cop, sacked by President Yoweri Museveni in March this year is under arrest, we have learnt that Kayihura has been blocked twice by the state from leaving the country - in what appears to be orders from top most commanders to place the former top cop under house arrest.
A statement from army spokesperson Richard Karemire today states that yesterday June 12, a helicopter was dispatched to Lyantonde by "Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi to take him from there, but on arrival, Gen Kale Kayihura had travelled to Mbarara and so it had to return to Entebbe Airforce Base."
According to Karemire, today June 13, a helicopter has been sent back to Kashagama, Lyantonde where Kayihura has been staying since March 15, 2018 after handing over as IGP. Karemire says the helicopter has safely returned to Kampala with Kayihura on board.
A close associate who spoke to The Observer said, much as they had heard the rumour of house arrest for some time, Kayihura had treated it as not a serious threat until last month when he was blocked from travelling to Germany for treatment.
Kayihura had reportedly secured a medical visa but his bosses refused to clear his travel. He then attempted to travel to South Africa from where he would connect to Germany but still he got blocked at the airport.
Yesterday, operatives believed to be the elite forces, SFC in an operation to arrest Kayihura stormed Courtyard international hotel and Sky blue hotel in Lyantonde where Kayihura is said to be a regular reveller. It is not immediately clear if the hotels search was after finding Kayihura was found missing from his country home in Lyantonde.
Kayihura was sacked as IGP by President Museveni in March this year. He was sacked alongside then Security minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde.
According to a source, President Museveni is said to have sanctioned Kayihura's arrest after several intelligence reports suggested that the former police chief was behind the rampant kidnaps and killings across the country.
The once powerful top cop could face murder charges in Ugandan courts. Since last week, security forces have been planning the operation to arrest the former police chief and at the same time on how to dismantle the crime preventers force which is said to be an extension of the mafia network he had created in the police force.
According to a source close to the Presidency, by the time of his sacking, Kayihura had created a network of mafias within the police.
The arrest and eventual confession of a one Abel Kitagenda, a former Flying Squad operative over the murder of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi offered credence to the intelligence information that linked the former IGP to the murders, the State House source said.
Kitagenda was recently arrested by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) upon return from Canada where he'd reportedly fled to following the murder of Kaweesi last year.
Investigators established that at the time of the shooting, Kaweesi's car was clearly put to a stop and the handbrake engaged, meaning at the time of the shooting, the car had come to a complete stop otherwise, naturally, the car would have veered off the road.
According to sources close to the Kaweesi murder investigations, the unsuspecting Kaweesi must have been waved down by someone he knew - hence asking his driver to stop. It is at this point that the shooting began may have taken place. Kitagenda reportedly tried to secure a new passport under different names, raising suspicions from the security agencies.
When it was finally decided to get Kayihura arrested, SFC operatives first gathered information on Kayihura's possible location before setting off for Lyantonde. Sources both in State House and Lyantonde said that the plain clothed SFC soldiers acted discreetly to avoid public attention.
At Sky blue hotel and Courtyard hotel in Lyantonde, the soldiers introduced themselves to the hotel staff but didn't go into details of their mission.
Kayihura predicted his sacking and arrest as early as last year. Addressing the 23rd annual general meeting of local governments in September 2017 at St Peter’s Technical Institute Mubende , Kayihura said “The president was criticising us that we have failed to stamp out crime...If we are to prevent crime, we must address the root causes of crime in society,” Kayihura said.
These songs of police this, police that...Kayihura alemeddwa [has failed]…Okay, Kayihura can be sent to Luzira [prison] but I tell you, if you don’t address the problems in society, even if you put I don’t know who, whoever you put there [as IGP], the problems of crime will not be solved,” he said then.