For the almost 13 years he was at the helm as Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura enjoyed quick access to President Yoweri Museveni. Praised as a good ruling party cadre, Kayihura’s fortunes have, however, rapidly diminished since his sacking in March and now the embattled army man is begging to speak to the Head of State.
The ex-police chief was arrested last week and is detained at the Makindye Military Barracks, a maximum security facility in the capital Kampala.
According to The Observer, the grave offences potentially hanging over his head probably explain why he was reportedly attempting to flee the country, on the day he was allegedly fished out of a car boot in Lake Mburo National Park. He reportedly unsuccessfully tried to send army units hunting him down on a wild goose chase to Kabale – changing cars three times before trying to sneak out in the boot of one vehicle.
Sources say that after the murder of Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga on June 8, Kayihura learned that his time was up. He had retreated to his farm in Kashagama, Lyantonde since March, alternately spending some time in a nearby town.
On June 13, he was arrested. He had reportedly slipped out the back entrance of a hotel where he had been holed up and headed for the western Uganda district of Mbarara.
One source, familiar with the chase, said, “…we found out that Kayihura had placed his known phones in a Toyota Premio and instructed his driver to head to Kabale. Meanwhile, Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi called Brig Kayanja Muhanga, the second division commander and instructed him to deploy and block all roads leading to the Rwandan border,” the source revealed.
As the dragnet tightened, the source said, a Toyota Ipsum car with about three boda bodas riding some distance ahead in the direction of Kabale attracted the attention of the army. It was stopped and searched.
All the main routes towards Rwanda were closed, which forced the former IGP to change course and go through Lake Mburo Park in a bid to reach Tanzania. It was while inside the park that he reportedly jumped into the boot of a ramshackle vehicle.
A boda boda rider reportedly saw this strange exchange and reported to security officers manning Sanga road block. The former police chief was discovered and recovered.
“Brig Muhanga now rushed to the scene and picked Kayihura from the boot, put him in his car, drove him to his [Muhanga’s] home and gave the dirty, tired looking Kayihura water to take a shower. He then reported his arrest to his bosses. The army then re-sent its helicopter to pick him up for an arrest,” added the source.
Gen Kayihura served as the police chief for nearly 13 years before being fired by President Yoweri Museveni in March this year.
Sources say he could face “serious cases” that include “treason, espionage, murder, recruitment, and creation and arming of illegal militia with intent to overthrow the government.”
This website understands that the general has not sought for release from detention but “should the situation take longer then the option of applying for a writ of habeas corpus might become necessary.”