Lawyers of embattled former Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura have been denied access to their client reportedly currently detained at Makindye military barracks.
Kayihura, who was sacked in March this year but once the blue-eyed boy of President Yoweri Museveni, was arrested on Wednesday last week by the army from his country home in Kasagama, Lyantonde district.
Now, his lawyers Caleb Alaka and Evans Ochieng say they tried to access their client at the Makindye barracks without much success.
When army spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire finally confirmed Kayihura’s arrest, in a statement, he said his lawyers and immediate family members were free to access him at Makindye. But Alaka says, he, and Ochieng have attempted to talk to Kayihura for the last three days but have been stopped by the security guards manning the gates.
The lawyers claim that on Friday, they went to the barracks to see him but were blocked by the soldiers at the entrance on grounds that it was a public holiday. Alaka says they went back on Saturday to the barracks but were told that visitors are not allowed on weekends.
“We tried on Friday, they said it was a public holiday. They said we come on Saturday, yesterday, we came and they again refused. They refused and that is the truth. Yes, they refused and the whole of yesterday, we had no access to them at all. Those people are still detained illegally and I think it is very wrong.” said Alaka.
Alaka and his counterpart Ochieng note that Kayihura together with other police officers have been held incommunicado and no one has been allowed access to them which violates their constitutional rights.
The law says that no one should be detained for more than 48 hours without being produced in court to show cause for his/her arrest.
Ironically, while still serving as IGP, Kayihura severally justified holding suspects beyond the 48-hour rule. On April 11, 2015 while appearing on Capital Gang talkshow, Kayihura said “The British are doing it…police can arrest someone for 90 days before charging him.”
He cited suspects being released on police bond or bail once in court, and even acquittal [for lack of evidence], which he said have given rise to cases of mob justice. A lawyer himself, Kayihura said Britain, where Uganda borrows the current legal system, has since reformed theirs to conform with the changing times.
“The British are doing it… police can arrest someone for 90 days before charging him,” he said.
Kayihura’s lawyers resolved that today, Monday, they will petition High court so that Kayihura together with Col Atwooki Ndahura, former director of crime intelligence may be produced in court if at all they have any cases to answer.
Kayihura is being accused together with five senior police officers on charges that are not yet known. The officers include; his former personal assistant Jonathan Baroza, former Flying Squad commander Herbert Muhangi, former cyber-crime director Richard Ndaboine, former director of crime intelligence Ndawula Atwooki and former Kampala South Regional police commander Siraje Bakaleke.
They are reported to have been arrested by the Chieftaincy Military Intelligence on Tuesday before Kayihura the next day. On Friday, there was a reported search at Kayihura’s Muyenga based home by the army and Counter Terrorism forces.
Sources say Kayihura has been linked to a spate of criminality in the country including the murder of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi last year.