KAMPALA (AFP): Uganda’s once-powerful police boss on Friday pleaded not guilty in a military court to a raft of charges, including arming a criminal gang and allowing refugees to be abducted by police. Kale Kayihura, 62, was sacked by President Yoweri Museveni in March and arrested in June. Military prosecutor Major Raphael Mugisha accused him of allowing arms and ammunition to be issued to a notorious gang which operated among motorcycle taxi drivers in Kampala, as well as failing to secure weapons issued to specialised police units.
Kayihura, a serving general, was also charged with aiding the kidnapping of Rwandan refugees, including President Paul Kagame’s one-time bodyguard Lieutenant Joel Mutabazi who disappeared from a UN refugee camp in 2013 and is now serving a life prison sentence in Rwanda. Human Rights Watch at the time accused the Ugandan police of having “utterly failed” to protect a refugee “clearly at serious risk”.
Kayihura was once viewed as among the most powerful men in Uganda, acting on the direct orders of Museveni, alongside whom he had fought during the rebel war which brought him to power in 1986.