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How Kayihura Tried to Escape Through Katuna After Plan to Arrest Him Leaked

Kayihura Had Escaped to Mbarara

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When President Yoweri Museveni sacked Gen Kale Kayihura, the former police chief went to Kashagama, Lyantonde district, to “enjoy his leave”.

In Lyantonde, Kayihura owns a large farm.

Uganda’s army was aware of the general’s whereabouts since “Kayihura is still a serving officer of the UPDF”.

A statement by UPDF spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire said Kayihura had been staying at Kashagama, Lyantonde since he handed over office on March 15.

Museveni had replaced Kayihura with Martins Okoth Ochola, the hitherto general’s deputy.

It is not clear when Kayihura learnt of a plan to arrest him but he must have suspected this day was coming.

About a month before his arrest, Kayihura was reportedly blocked from travelling abroad.

President Museveni had not cleared the “good NRM cadre” reports had indicated.

But Kayihura dismissed the reports as false.

He was at his farm, so busy he could not find time to fly abroad, he had said in response.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had also confirmed Kayihura’s response.

According to CAA, the general had not been blocked at Entebbe International Airport.

Kayihura was also resting after over a decade of busy police work.

He had largely abandoned his Muyenga home.

Months after his exit from police, the country’s internal security was not getting any better.

Kidnaps and murders continued — leaving many wondering if the weevils that had infiltrated the police, as Museveni had put it, had been ejected with Kayihura’s removal, or if they had remained drilling into the core of the police.

It is not clear why Kayihura was arrested in June, at least three months after his sacking.

There are some reports that he had been linked to the murder of fallen former police publicist Andrew Felix Kaweesi.

It is also alleged that Kayihura directed that at least 4,000 weapons be transferred from the police armoury to Masindi.

But there was reportedly no record of the transfer, making many question the motive of this transfer.

Yet other reports point to a meeting Museveni reportedly held with both government and security officials following the murder of Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga.

It was during this meeting that happened sometime this week that Museveni ordered that Kayihura be quizzed over the current state of security to find out if he had a hand.

After all, there had been intelligence reports that Kayihura was working for Rwanda to spy on Uganda.

His officers had also reportedly been involved in crime under his watch.

Museveni’s order was that Kayihura be flown to Kampala on Tuesday.

Kayihura Escapes to Mbarara

According to Karemire, UPDF had on Tuesday sent a helicopter to pick Kayihura for the meeting “but on arrival, Gen Kale had travelled to Mbarara and so it had to return to Entebbe Airforce Base”.

Ordinarily, the UPDF was supposed to inform Kayihura they were coming to pick him.

It is surprising then that Kayihura chose to travel to Mbarara.

Had Kayihura not been informed — did they just want to ambush him — or had he run away to escape?

Reports of Kayihura’s arrest started on Tuesday — the day the army had most likely been ordered to pick him.

But Kayihura, as confirmed by Karemire, was not in Lyantonde.

He had reportedly escaped to Mbarara, with a plan to run out of Uganda through the Uganda-Rwanda border of Katuna.

But he had learnt that there would be roadblocks on the way.

A hunt for him, reportedly led by UPDF second Division Commander Brig Kayanja Muhanga, started.

There were raids on Court Yard International and Sky Blue Hotels in search of the former police chief.

The search, reports further indicate, led Muhanga to an Ipsum Premio vehicle in the wee hours of Wednesday.

Kayihura was hiding in this car that was intercepted around Mbarara, with his mobile phones in another car.

He would later agree to cooperate with the team that had intercepted him for fear of an embarrassing arrest.

Meanwhile, Kayihura denied being arrested in an interview with government daily The New Vision in a Wednesday morning interview, hours before he was airlifted to Kampala.

But one statement in the interview  showed Kayihura was either expecting the worst or he just wanted to hide his arrest from the press.

I Won’t Be The First One To Be Arrested, he had reportedly said. 

And hours later, a helicopter landed in his farm in Kashagama and “returned safely to Kampala with him [Kayihura] on board”.

More on Kayihura Arrest

Additional Reporting: Courtesy

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