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Uganda Lawmaker to Demand Police Chief’s ‘Bias’ Inquiry

  • Peter Clottey

FILE - Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni

FILE - Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni

A member of Uganda Parliament’s Committee on Defense and Internal Affairs says he plans to move a motion this week to demand an official investigation of Kale Kayihura, the country’s Inspector General of Police.

The motion will accuse Kayihura of abuse of office, unprofessionalism and the display of public support for the ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Lawmakers are scheduled to resume work this week after a short recess for the Easter festivities.

Muwanga Kivumbi Muhammed says opposition legislators have gathered evidence that supports their allegations that the Inspector General of Police has on several occasions, publicly advocated for President Yoweri Museveni’s ruling NRM and has demonstrated bias against opposition and civil society groups deemed opponents of the country’s leader.

“There is evidence that he is not only partisan, but he conducts himself more as a cadre of the ruling party and works for a person of President Yoweri Museveni, which we believe is against the Police Act ,” said Muhammed. “We as opposition are going to move a motion that the person of the inspector general of police be investigated, with the view to recommend his eventual removal and replacement.”

But supporters of the ruling party dismissed the accusation saying the allegations are a calculated attempt to force the police chief out of office for carrying out his duties. They contend that Kayihura is being unfairly targeted for ensuring that the country is not destabilized by violent demonstrations often organized by opposition groups.

Muhammed says the inspector general of police should be replaced for bringing the office of the inspector general of police into disrepute. He says the opposition has gathered evidence to support their allegations against the inspector general of police.

“For those who are now in the modern age of technology can watch YouTube, twitter, can watch Facebook … where he is seen working with opposition politicians convincing them to join the ruling party to support President Yoweri Museveni,” said Muhammed.

“We have been doing our thorough work and the evidence we have assembled is impeccable and self-evident, and there is no way he can walk away,” said Muhammed. “It’s so thorough that even the devil would have to believe it.

But ruling party supporters say the demand for an official parliamentary inquiry is aimed to force Kayihura out of office.

Muhammed disagreed.

“He has been the inspector general of police for a while now but we have not demanded his resignation before. Now, his behavior has become untenable. It is quite aberrant from the conduct of a professional police person all over the world,” said Muhammed.

Senior opposition politicians including former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye, Mugisha Muntu leader of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), and Olara Otunnu of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) recently demanded the resignation of Kayihura after accusing him of tarnishing the image of the Uganda police. Kayihura rejects the accusations as without foundation.