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Who will sack the general who sacked Kayihura?

He had just done one of his signature acts: shuffling police commanders and senior officers.

This, he unfailingly did with remarkable ease and outrageous frequency. But hours later, he too got shuffled. Bang! Sacked. Just like that.

At the time of this writing, his fate remains unknown. On a wet and chilly Sunday afternoon in Kampala, the breaking news flash on TV appeared surreal.

On the streets, folks who effortlessly excel at topical-gossip, the passenger motorcycle riders, had just landed a big one for the day, perhaps for the week. “The man is gone,” one remarked with a rather celebratory tone.

The man ‘who’s gone’ was known to be a patron to factions of this industry that could well have now become the leading locus of a pending national security disaster.

He was known to have used the boda men to build a political network, something that, according to work on the grapevine, may have been one of the reasons for the Sunday sack. For long, the sack appeared inevitable but I thought it wouldn’t happen anytime soon.

I thought because he had become so dirtied and battered in the course of executing his remit, Kale Kayihura remained the best bet to continue doing what the boss wanted. I was wrong!

The man who wielded enormous coercive and financial power, generously granted to him by the ultimate ruler, is no more. At least not as head of the Uganda Police Force, an institution he tossed and distorted with remarkable tenacity.

There is one question, though, that must exercise the minds of concerned Ugandans: who will sack the general who sacked General Kale Kayihura?

Since taking the helm in 2005, coinciding with what I consider the most important turning point in Uganda’s recent political history when the constitution was manipulated to entrench one-man rule, Kayihura took the police on a race to the bottom.

With an uncanny knack for bombastic claims, public posturing, and exaggerated proclamations, he always sought to score victories and wallow in them, however pyrrhic.

Easily the most outrageous claim was the 2015 announcement that he had recruited eleven million so-called crime preventers, purposely sourced as part of the grand scheme to game the 2016 elections. This number is comparable to Uganda’s registered voters, meaning almost every vote was enlisted as a crime preventer’s!

Public parading of suspects and eliciting confessions in total violation of due process, rushing to scenes of high-profile crimes, unleashing unwarranted violence on regime political opponents, among others, were part of his routine modus operandi.

But a sense of inadequacy and personal insecurity remained quite palpable around a man who enjoyed displaying might and projecting power.

The more resources he pulled under his direct control, both financial and human, the dire the state of law and order in the country became. This created gross paranoia and rushed condemnations of subordinates.

The more power he sought to display, the more hostility he generated from both opponents of the regime and other factional actors inside the regime.

The more he worked hard to secure the master in power, ironically, the more his own position became precarious. He is now dispatched out of an institution on which he had had a firm grip for twelve, very long, years, but the damage of the past decade is extensive and thoroughgoing.

For one, Kayihura’s topmost achievement was the transformation of the Uganda Police Force into a frontline political instrument for regime protection and repression of legitimate political opponents.

With his relentless vigor, an institution meant to be professional and non-partisan became an openly active partner of the ruling party, taking sides even in internal political contests.

The most high-profile and consequential undertaking was the demobilizing of Amama Mbabazi in 2015, the primary motivation for the crime preventers project and the need to cook up a figure of eleven million.

The distortions visited on the organizational makeup of the force are severe, mostly driven by the imperatives of what is considered its primary function – regime protection. From the calculated fragmentation seen in creation of forces within the police force to the nefarious crime preventers project and working with criminal gangs.

Then the ceaseless and sometimes bewildering transfers and promotions! It’s possible some police officers in recent years have been in three different command positions in a month’s period: regional police commander (RPC) of Kampala East this week, RPC of Kyoga East next week, and RPC of Aswa the week after.

And to successfully coerce and execute the political mission at hand, a tried and tested strategy was handy: resorting to nepotism. Blatant and shameless on a scale that may never have been practiced at any point in the history of this dear country.

The author is  an assistant professor of political science at North Carolina State University.


0 #11 WADADA rogers 2018-03-10 09:52
Moses Khisa, one of formidable up coming writers of our time.

You paused a question but nobody has given you an answer, they quickly forget you are a professor,.

To answer your question,first of all, the General who sacked the General is here to stay, he has crippled all the other Generals to the extent that he is almost alone in the right where he also serves as the referee with millions of supporters across the political divide.

The rest of the generals have either chickened out or have joined in cheering him. In other words, not one will suck him, not even the ballot paper, not even parliament.

The only man standing may be God that is if he has not joined the man already and is celebrating his stay.
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0 #12 ejakait engoraton 2018-03-10 15:33
WADADA , the SACKER of all SACKERS takes HIS time and dies HIS things in HIS own time and style, and like HE says in HIS book, HE is like the thief who comes in the midst of the night.

Ordinarily, in what is claimed to be a democracy, the citizens do the sacking, but unlike what you think that the ALMIGHTY has joined the one to be sacked and is celebrating his stay, it is actually the DEVIL-SATAN-LUCIFER, one who sadly is also VERY powerful in his evil ways, but who will both be defeated by the CHIEF SACKER the one and only ALMIGHTY GOD / ALLAH / JEHOVAH.

And son of man ( UGANDA) , shall be set free.

In the meantime, no harm in us mortals trying to do whatever it is in our GOD given mortal powers , to rid ourselves of the twin devils.

After all it is FOR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY.
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+1 #13 Remase 2018-03-10 16:03
WADADA, the answer has been given. It is us, Ugandans, who will sack M7. We need to make a determination that M7 must go. Former South African president, Jacob Zuma, has just resigned recently. Why?

Because South African said enough is enough. Zuma was corrupt to the core and he was embroiled in each and every corrupt deals of the state capture by the Gupta brothers. South Africans said that Zuma shouldn't finish his second term, and he didn't.
ANC lost 3 metros to the opposition during the recent local elections and was bound to lose the next general elections in 2021, if Zuma stayed on as president. That is what we need to do.

We need to say that M7 must go. We need to put a time flame of when it should be realized. We need to exposed and shun each and everyone of those who are keeping M7 in power. We know who they are. If you don't, just ask me and I'll tell you.

The bottom line is, it is us, Ugandans, who have failed to get rid of M7 and we know why!
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0 #14 Jama 2018-03-12 15:11
The question is who will send off the almighty general who sacked the terminator?

If Ugandans were as courageous and determined as Zimbabweans or Burkina Faso people to take to streets for several days the oldman could be evicted.

And this needs to have true Republican police and armed forces ready to remain neutral as far as political disputes among Ugandans is concerned.

But unfortunately what we may call a national army or police is tribally oriented to protect an individual and his clan.

Another way could be the violent method he used to impose himself on us,but this option is costly in terms of life and property.

May be those who believe in a divinely solution,expect that day to come when all the media worldwide will broadcast the end of an oppressive regime.That the will come.
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+1 #15 Lakwena 2018-03-13 08:28
Moses, I always remind myself and Ugandans about the paradox opposites: that trying to too hard produces unexpected results.

By trying too hard to please Mr. M7, Gen Kayihura and others before him, instead hurt themselves.

And by also trying too hard to rule Ugandans against their will, by hooks and crook, including pleasing some section of Ugandans; Mr. M7 will also harm himself like the Qaddafi of this world.

In other words, fate is patienteyen but merciless judge over the unjust.
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0 #16 ejakait engoraton 2018-03-13 19:27
JAMA , yes you are a realist who knows and probably understands the situation we are in.

You can not solve a problem unless you know the nature and magnitude of the problem.

Some people just want to wish M 7 away. Some people delude themselves that they will somehow wake up and what happened in Zimbabwe or South Africa, or even Tunisia/Egypt/ Libya, or Ivory Coast or Burkina Faso will suddenly happen in Uganda.

The dynamics in Uganda are quite different in Uganda to any one of the above to the extent that it is next to impossible for things to happen in a way similar in fashion.

A coin has two sides, and the more Ugandans are nice people, the more they are bad people.

You realize that we have become a by word for certain things. In the recent problems in KENYA the banners read " WE ARE NOT UGANDA" almost as if to say, we are not as stupid as Ugandans.

Unless and until there is a big shift in attitude, nothing is going to change soon.
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0 #17 Lakwena 2018-03-15 08:14
Quoting ejakait engoraton:
JAMA , yes you are a realist who knows and probably understands the situation we are in.

The dynamics in Uganda are quite different in Uganda to any one of the above to the extent that it is next to impossible for things to happen in a way similar in fashion.

A coin has two sides, and the more Ugandans are nice people, the more they are bad people. ...

Unless and until there is a big shift in attitude, nothing is going to change soon.

Ejakait, your analysis makes a lot of sense. But because of the chicken (rat) that we are; face to face with a Cheshire cat (illusive), Moses and many Ugandans including NRM member are asking the parabolic and diabolic question of, "WHO WILL BELL THE CAT?

In other words, until all of us pounce on the cat and bell it, no one is safe; including Ofwono Opondo and Hon Nankabirwwa.
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