President Museveni Monday said he would consider a request by Kisoro District National Resiatnce (NRM) leaders to pardon former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen Edward Kalekezi Kayihura, commonly known as Kale Kayihura.
“Kale Kayihura (former IGP), just like the (Kisoro LC5) chairman said; there’re those who committed heavy sins and we forgave them. So then why don’t we forgive him! Because you’ve asked and said he’s our person (NRM) I’ll speak to the military prosecution and tell them your request and also add in my request to have him forgiven,” President Museveni told NRM leaders in Kisoro district where he was canvassing for votes ahead of January 14, 2021 polls in which he seeks to extend his rule to the fourth decade.
Kisoro leaders request to Museveni
Mr Museveni’s response was prompted by a request from Kisoro District LC5 chairperson, Mr Abel Bizimana who asked the president, 76, to pardon Gen Kayihura who served as Uganda’s IGP from 2005 until 2018 when he was sacked.
Kayihura is currently facing criminal charges in the army court.
Bobi Wine dares Museveni
Museveni’s statement comes days after National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential flag bearer Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, on December 16, 2020 also promised to pardon Gen Kayihura if elected president.
Mr Kyagulanyi heaped praises on Gen Kayihura who he once described as his tormentor who was working to “impress his master” [President Museveni].
“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, 39, said during the campaign in Kisoro on December 16, 2020. Kisoro is Gen Kayihura’s home district.
On December 12, 2020, President Museveni met NRM leaders in Kigezi Sub-region in Kabale Town, but some leaders from Kisoro did not attend. They said they wanted Mr Museveni to go to Kisoro to meet them because they wanted to tell him their grievances about the prosecution of Gen Kayihura and other unfulfilled pledges of tarmacking tourism roads, construction of John Kale Institute of Science and Technology and expansion of Kisoro airfield, among others.
While campaigning in Kisoro on December 16, 2020, Bobi Wine dared Mr Museveni and said he lacked the courage to campaign in Kisoro.
“He was sacked together with Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde (former Security minister) but the latter was exonerated and he is running for president but the former is still in ‘‘prison’’. He cannot even come to his home area. If I am lying, I dare Mr Museveni to come and campaign with Gen Kayihura here in Kisoro,” Bobi Wine said.
In what seemed like a challenge to Bobi Wine, Mr Museveni today (January 4, 201) travelled to Kisoro as he embarks on the last leg of his campaigns as he seeks to retain his seat on January 14.
In 2011, Bobi Wine worked closely with Gen Kayihura in a campaign against drug abuse in Kampala slums.
However, a few years later in 2017, when Bobi Wine turned into an active politician, Gen Kayihura, then Inspector General of Police, blocked his music concerts. Gen Kayihura was sacked as IGP in April 2018 in the wake of a spate of killings that rocked the country, especially the murder of women in Wakiso District, kidnaps for ransom and assassination of Muslim clerics and some government officials.