The United States government through its Treasury and State Departments came out and publicly designated for Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura for involvement in gross violations of human rights.
The Department claims to have 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.
All these declarations and seizures of property and rights of General Kayihura and his immediate family originate from an Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
Whereas this designation particularly and immediately affects General Kayihura and his immediate family, it has sent shock waves and shivers down the very spine of the NRM government, its leader Yoweri Museveni and his servicemen and women who have partnered with him to commit gross human rights abuses since he came to power in 1986.
What the targeting of Kayihura means is that those in power will always be brought to book for their actions at one time. Whereas Kayihura may have fallen from grace with his benefactor Yoweri Museveni and his NRM government, his close service of the regime that saw him oversee the gross human rights abuses he is accused of is evidence that his superior officers too can be held for the same offences at one time.
There has been utterance several times by Yoweri Museveni and those in the NRM who argue that foreign governments have no business engaging in the politics of our country. Rightly so, this should be the norm. However, when Museveni and all other rulers in Uganda immerse themselves in the international system and ratify international treaties and laws on human rights and other binding issues, they technically open themselves up to be subjects of such laws and statutes.
Moreover, in this gross acts of corruption and embezzlement from the homeland, our leaders hide their wealth and lootings in these foreign lands. Evidence has previously shown that many of these NRM top guns even hold duo citizenship of countries like the US. Unlike Uganda where we have weak government watchdogs and financial regulations, the West is able to track wealth and know who it belongs to. Yoweri Museveni, for example, owns several properties in Europe and the US. There is no doubt therefore that at one time, just like they have done in the cases of dictators like Mobutu and Muammar Gaddafi, foreign governments can seize this illicit wealth hidden by Museveni and his cronies abroad.
As regards human rights abuses, one can only pity men like the commander of Land Forces Gen. Elweru whose hands are marred with the blood of men and women who were massacred in Kasese during the raid on the Omusinga’s palace. There are already loud calls for bringing to justice under international law those that committed this gruesome murder and extermination of people.
Last week, while speaking on his show, Tamale Mirundi made it categorically clear that Gen. Elly Tumwine had gotten it fundamentally wrong to declare before a Parliamentary Commission that indeed his government ran “safe houses” whilst several people had come out to show how they had been tortured in detention. Such admission by Tumwine puts not only himself in trouble, but leaders of covert security bodies like Kaka Bagyenda of ISO and his boss Museveni who is the Commander in Chief of the Armed forces.
We have therefore reached a time when the men and women in the NRM who have committed human rights abuses and grand theft on the national economy are slowly being targeted and brought to book. Every sane errand boy or girl under Museveni would be wise to “lie low like an envelope” as Tamale Mirundi would say.