KAMPALA – Presidential adviser on media affairs Joseph Tamale Mirundi has said the sanctioning of Gen Kale Kayihura by the US government has put President Museveni and the ruling NRM party in the highlight over its human rights record.
US Secretary of State last Friday announced that they had put economic sections and a travel ban on Gen Kayihura, for alleged human rights violations during his time as former Inspector General of Police.
However, whereas Mr Mirundi says the sanctions are on Gen Kayihura, the ruling party is down under scrutiny.
“It’s not Kale Kayihura on the weighing scale, it’s government and President Museveni on that scale. Why would Kale Kayihura make noise about the indictment when he has nothing to do in America? The moment you bend to scratch a toe, you’re recognising a jigger,” he said.
Gen Kayihura has since protested the US sanctions, describing them as ridiculous and outrageous. However, Mr Mirundi says the international community also has a yardstick for making such a decision, urging the former police chief not to waste time hiring a lawyer to protest the sanctions.
“Internationalism means that these are cases against humanity. The UN is like an executive government with agencies. People don’t act recklessly because they know the implications of such things. The Muhoozis were taught well by their father. The international community has its yardstick. Kayihura shouldn’t waste his money hiring a lawyer. There are about five people in Uganda who are in the same situation as Kayihura but are silent about it.”
In a statement published by the US State Department on Friday, September 13, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said they have credible information that Gen Kayihura was involved in torturing civilians using the Flying Squad, a specialized unit of the Uganda Police Force.
“The Department is publicly designating Kale Kayihura, the former Inspector General of the Uganda Police Force and its commanding officer from 2005-2018, under Section 7031(c) of the FY 2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, due to his involvement in gross violations of human rights,” the statement reads in part.
“Specifically, the Department has credible information that Kayihura was involved in torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, through command responsibility of the Flying Squad, a specialized unit of the Uganda Police Force that reported directly to Kayihura. The Treasury Department is concurrently designating Kayihura pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act,” the statement adds.
The US Department said it was also publicly designating his spouse, Angela Umurisa Gabuka, his daughter, Tesi Uwibambe, and his son, Kale Rudahigwa as per the law.