Uganda: Government to Hold Crisis Meeting Over Us Ban On Kayihura

20 September 2019

Parliament — Government will convene a high-level crisis meeting to find a common position on US sanctions slapped against former Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda told Parliament yesterday.

"It is true that the US government has taken measures against Gen Kale and these measures are being studied by government. Next week, a meeting has been called of the ministers of Defence, Security, Internal Affairs and Attorney General to give further examination of this matter so that the government handles the matter from a position of knowledge," Dr Rugunda said without giving a date of the meeting.

He made the revelation while responding to concerns by Buhweju County MP Francis Mwijukye (FDC) who on Wednesday had questioned the government's silence on the travel restrictions.

Dr Rugunda pledged that the "team and government will keep this August House fully posted on what is happening about that matter."

The United States Treasury Department, in a statement released last Friday, indicated they were designating Gen Kayihura for travel sanctions under Executive Order (E.O) 13818 for his alleged involvement in gross human rights abuses perpetrated by the police Flying Squad when he was head of the police force.

"As the IGP for the UPF, Kayihura led individuals from the UPF's Flying Squad Unit, which has engaged in the inhumane treatment of detainees at the Nalufenya Special Investigations Center (NSIC)," the US statement reads in part.

Gen Kayihura was sacked from police by President Museveni in April last year at the height of a wave of murders and kidnaps for ransom that hit the capital Kampala and its neighbourhood, and various parts of the country. He had served as police boss for 13 years.

After the sacking, President Museveni said the police under Gen Kayihura had been infiltrated by criminals he termed kawukumi, a local reference to bean weevils.

The US statement indicated that the sanctions were also attracted by Gen Kayihura's involvement in corruption and drug trafficking.

Mr Sigal Mandelker, the US Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said this was a warning to those who abuse their power around the world.

Gen Kayihura has refuted the US allegations.

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