In a puzzling turn of events, Uganda’s military bigwigs have decided to play the “get out of jail free” card for none other than Gen Kale Kayihura. Yes, you read that right – just a day before he was supposed to sail off into the sunset with his military retirement, the charges against him vanished into thin air.
This jaw-dropping announcement was made by the military court martial in Makindye, Kampala, leaving everyone scratching their heads and wondering if the army’s legal department misplaced their rulebook.
Let’s rewind a bit and remind ourselves why Gen Kayihura found himself in this sticky situation in the first place. Back in 2018, he was slapped with charges that sounded more like a laundry list of blunders than anything else. Failure to protect materials? Check. Failure to babysit police officers? Check. Oh, and let’s not forget, abetting the kidnapping of Rwandan refugees. Sounds like a swell time, doesn’t it?
To make things even more interesting, Kayihura has been dancing on bail since 2020, probably sipping cocktails on the beach while the legal world spun around him.
Now, here comes the plot twist. Just a month before this eyebrow-raising announcement, President Museveni decided, almost on a whim, that it was time for Kayihura to retire. Coincidence? You be the judge.
Fast forward to August 31, 2023, and Kayihura joins the ranks of retired generals. It’s like a grand retirement party for a guy who has dodged more bullets in court than on the battlefield.
But let’s not forget the drama that unfolded during this whole saga. Kayihura couldn’t even step outside his restricted area of Kashagama in Lyantonde without getting a permission slip from the Chief of Defence Forces. Talk about being on a tight leash.
For those of you who’ve lost track of time, Gen Kayihura’s military career began way back in 1982 when he joined the National Resistance Army (NRA). Yep, he’s been around longer than some of us have been alive. The NRA eventually grabbed the reins of power in 1986, and Kayihura’s been riding the rollercoaster ever since.