INSIDE STORY: Secrets Behind Gen. Kayihura’s Re-Appointment


cialis 40mg "sans-serif"; font-size: 12pt; mso-bidi-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’;”>He was studying Law, a prestigious course at the time.

He had won admiration among students for the great Pan-Africanism of his late father John Komuluyange Kalekezi. The African hero perished in a plane crash on August 17, 1960 at Kiev, Ukraine, on a trip to Moscow (then Soviet Union.)

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Kale was at that time based in Cairo, Egypt where he served as Foreign Secretary to Uganda National Congress (UNC) as he fought for Uganda’s independence.

Kayihura was respected at the University for speaking out boldly against the dictatorship of dictator Idi Amin. There are reports there was an attempt to kill him by Amin’s agents sent by his son Taban Amin.

For an entire month, investigators have been meeting dozens of sources with the view of understanding why Kayihura is President Museveni’s most trusted man in Uganda and secrets behind his re-appointment as IGP.


In 1970s, Amin had given his son Taban a position at Makerere even when he had not gone to primary school. At that time, no sane administrator would dare rebel against Amin’s order.

When word went around, Kayihura mobilised his friends for a strike. Amin’s son also mobilised military police which crushed ‘Kayihura’s resistance.’ Unlike today when police makes good use of teargas, it was bullet-to-fresh when Amin’s military raided Makerere.

Kayihura kept fighting on. But information of a plan to kill him later leaked. He escaped from the University.

He later joined Museveni’s NRA which captured power in 1986. He was later sent to battle rebel Allied Democratic Forces in Congo. At the peak of the insurgency in 2003 Kayihura was a senior military advisor to the President.

His forces in Congo, where he was senior commander, had just pulled out under an international arrangement to end the civil war in the vast country. At that time, Kayihura oversaw military intelligence gathering that broke Taban Amin’s back. Taban was working tooth and nail, mobilising fighters and former Amin loyalists who had settled in Kisangani and Southern Sudan to overthrow Museveni. Kayihura managed to destroy Taban’s recruitment drive in an area near the junction of the borders of Uganda, Sudan and Congo.

Taban had also planned to set up recruitment grounds at the villages of Getti, Bado and Nyacucu just near the border from Idi Amin’s home village of Arua. In fact tension hit boiling levels after information showed that Amin had died in a Saudi hospital. Taban was reported to be 6,000-men strong.

However, Kayihura’s men never spared Taban. His men were subsequently routed and remnants absorbed in UPDF. Taban, who was being romanticised by Kabila and offered a palatial home in Kinshasha, later pleaded for mercy before Museveni.

The President offered him amnesty in 2005 and a year later, Taban was appointed Deputy Director Internal Security Organisation (ISO). Kayihura is neither an alcoholic nor a smoker.

That was one of Kayihura’s biggest success at the rank of Brigadier. As a military advisor, Kayihura acted as Museveni’s confidant and strategist.


Kayihura was also briefly deployed in Northern Uganda to battle LRA leader Joseph Kony. He did a great job by offering substantial intelligence to facilitate operations against Khartoum-sponsored killers.


Later, when the President learned that officials in Uganda Revenue Authority were stealing from left, right and centre, he brought on board Kayihura to manage the Special Revenue Protection Services. In a few years, smugglers and thieves in URA were brought to order.

Shouldering a heavy burden of success, Kayihura was later appointed IGP in 2005 to replace a ‘romantic’ Maj. Gen. Katumba Wamala. Kayihura was given a special mission: to preserve lawlessness in the country at all costs.

“The timing of his appointment was very crucial. That was when Besigye had threatened to return to contest for President and use all means to get power,” recounts a source, now a retired police officer.

“Police was at that time favouring opposition. Museveni wanted a man who could contain order. He did not want to lose sleep over city security and Besigye. Kayihura was a perfect choice. But Museveni nearly sacked him when a protest against sale of Mabira turned bloody. Kayihura explained he was caught unawares and pledged that such would not happen again,” the source said, preferring anonymity.


To prove his loyalty, Kayihura has always attended controversial state functions including the recent swearing-in of Museveni at Kololo early this year.

Museveni heaped praises on Kayihura during the burial of Col. Noble Mayombo in 2007, describing him as a hard-working man being targeted by regional enemies. Museveni a few months ago praised Kayihura for crushing walk-to-work riots, describing him as a ‘true NRM cadre.’

In brief, Kayihura has succeeded in the following areas:

1. Defeating Taban Amin’s insurgency in Congo

2. Briefly overseeing military operations in Northern Uganda against Kony

3. Containing political violence after Besigye arrest in 2006

4. Containing order during Kayunga riots in September 2009

5. Defeating violent thugs who had hijacked a peaceful walk-to-work campaign

6. Overseeing a successful training of anti-terrorism police personnel who led investigations and arrested perpetrators of 7/11 Kampala terror attacks

7. Managing a fragile security during CHOGM amidst ADF infiltration of the city

8. Overseeing security during the African Union summit in 2010

9. Championing the promotions of police officers

10. Putting an end to rampant thieving on Kampala streets

11. Coordinating the arrest of the abductor of 3-year-old Kakama last year.

Kayihura has, however, come under criticism from civil activists. They accuse him of denying political parties space to exercise their rights by crushing gatherings. Kayihura insists Uganda is facing severe terror threats, a reason he is hesitant to give parties liberty to freely roam around the city.

Despite his mistakes, Kayihura has been more of good than harm especially to the security of the common man.


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