Uganda: Public Focus Fight Against Notorious Kayihura a.k.a. "General Death"

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Kale Kayihura -- Uganda's notorious "General Death"
The Ugandan police general who ordered police and paramilitary operatives to beat up supporters of Dr. Kizza Besigye, the man who is widely believed to have won the February 2016 Ugandan presidential election, continues to defy summons to appear at a local Kampala magistrate’s court to be tried for the brutality meted on the public. 
Instead he has gone on to organize rowdy gangs of his supporters to besiege and intimidate prosecuting lawyers and even the judge at court.  
Now General Kale Kayihura and his political Godfather General Yoweri Museveni are the subjects of intense and unprecedented local and international public ire, with serious condemnations coming from Museveni’s own Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe and his Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Major General Kahinda Otafiire.
Commenting on the specific incident when pro-Kayihura gangs invaded Makindye Magistrate’s court, Chief Justice Katureebe said, "…. whoever is responsible for mobilizing the mobs to obstruct justice must be advised that what he or she is doing is wrong..." And Major General Otafiire was unequivocal in his condemnation of General Kayihura’s actions: “We must observe rule of law. We should all go to court to prove our innocence. This hooliganism is unacceptable.” For a fellow regime member to refer to his colleague as a hooligan indicates that some are reading the signs on the wall. 
Who is General Kayihura? General Kale Kayihura is the notorious Ugandan police general, who is not only the right hand man of despot Museveni, but is believed to be the mastermind of widespread violations of human rights and unprecedented levels of outright brutality against the Ugandan public. Often operating on direct orders from Museveni, General Kayihura, has singularly overseen the endless arrests of freedom-struggle leaders, such as Dr. Besigye and the numerous kidnappings and torture of innumerable Ugandan pro-democracy and human rights campaigners.
Loathed by my most Ugandans: Over the last few years, General Kayihura has become one of the most hated pro-Museveni loyalists, as more and more Ugandans fell victim to his near-maniacal determination to clamp down on any form of public dissent against Museveni’s autocratic rule. Across Uganda, Kayihura’s notoriety became so pronounced that many Ugandans variously referred to him as "Mr Teargas", "General Death", "Uganda’s Chemical Ali" (after an infamous aide of the former Iraqi dictator Sadam Hussein), and "Kifesi General," (Kifesi is the name given to notorious local mafia gangs operating in Kampala, often in collaboration with the state police service).
Hundreds of thousands of innocent Ugandans have increasingly found themselves at the receiving end of Kayihura organized brutality, in form of public beatings, shootings, pepper and chemical sprays, not to mention the rampart arrests and kidnappings, and even murders.
Justice Unserved is Justice Denied: When a group of Ugandan private lawyers took courage and sued Kayihura and his gang of people oppressors at Makindye Magistrate’s court in Kampala on behalf of police beating victims, there was a general sigh of relief, and even jubilation. Many thought that the notorious general, who had tortured and dehumanized Ugandans for many years with so much impunity, was at last going to be made to answer for his crimes.
It wasn’t long, however, for the sad reality of non-existent justice in Uganda under Museveni to transpire. In Uganda today there is hardly any credible system that can be relied on to deliver justice dependably and unfailingly. Not that there are no professionally minded and ethically inclined judges and other officers of the judiciary or the broader law and order establishment. 
There are some, but these noble and highly professional men and women are forced to work within a justice system that has been politicized, corrupted and hugely compromised to such an extent that pretty often true justice remains unserved and accordingly denied to those who fall victim to any type of politically inspired criminality and illegalities.
Under Museveni, the well-connected mafia gangs who terrorize the public, with direct "orders from above" are often un-prosecutable and impossible to hold accountable. 
As Rabba Naga, the senior liberation struggle leader operating from within the Museveni camp, put it in a recent article: ”You reach a stage where it is hard to discipline anyone because you are one and the same. So those who expect Kayihura to be disciplined, forget it. Because he is not in this alone, these are the result of cronyism and nepotism at maturity age. So you hear the minister of justice lamenting, the chief justice lamenting etc., no one can act and they know it, because it is merely a symptom of a graver problem. Right from the top.”
The absurd reality, therefore, remains that all this drama of "prosecuting" General Kayihura and his accomplices is simply a piece of drama, a sort of tragi-comedy that is bound to deliver "hot air", or, at best, some seemingly fruitful "professional mobility" of those involved, meaning that soon Ugandans might see Museveni making some cosmetic changes in the top police ranks, with Kayihura being replaced by another Museveni loyalist. 
On closer look, all these monkey tricks will lead to nothing substantial. For example, of what use to the people of Uganda would a reshuffle be that would see General Kayihura regaining his former post as Chief of Defense Forces. A reshuffle that would most likely see another tainted and corrupt Museveni loyalist general assume the role of Inspector General of Police? How would that promote the cause of justice to the multitude of victims of police brutality.
Already, as the Kayihura court drama unfolds, it has emerged that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) is fighting helter-skelter to take over the role of prosecuting the "Kayihuras", in spite of the Makindye Magistrate judge showing unwillingness for such a move. Haven’t Ugandans seen it all before? Innumerable instances where the DPP either found it difficult or was unable to prosecute high-caliber cases involving well-connected criminals, who were suspected of committing grievous crimes, including murder? 
One particular case is of immediate interest here – the ongoing saga surrounding a senior police commander called, Aaron Baguma, who is being shielded from the long arm of the law by none other General Kayihura. The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has tried, in vain, to order police to produce Baguma in court to answer murder charges, but the police have, up to now, remained unwilling to execute the order from the DPP. The DPP, on his part, has been unable to do anything to force the police to comply – why? Because Uganda is now a nation where “all animals may be equal before the law, but some animals are more equal than others,” as the famous saying goes.
General Kayihura, and by default, his close associates like Aaron Baguma, believe that they among the more unequal citizens of Uganda. Kayihura and Co. are convinced that they, like most other Museveni loyalists, are above the law, and no one in Uganda has the right to hold them accountable.
It is quite telling that another Museveni loyalist, now being touted as potential replacement for General Kale Kayihura, has also faced serious allegations of corruption and misappropriation of public funds, only to be let off the hook in unclear circumstances. It is widely believed that Museveni is about to carry out a fake and fictitious reshuffle in the police, perhaps to shake off some of naked humiliation brought about by the police brutality saga which has led to the private prosecution of General Kale Kayihura.
So, having failed to get Baguma in court to face murder charges, because of his close connections to Kale Kayihura, and now having seen how General Kayihura himself has shown such contempt of the law, because of his close association with Yoweri Museveni, what makes the DPP think that he can easily take over the case filed by the private lawyers against Kayihura, and successfully prosecute it?
It might not be such a wrong thing to suggest, that perhaps the DPP is following "orders from above", just like some of the judges who have severally acted to sabotage the very course of justice whenever they allowed themselves to become slaves to the abhorrent State House diktat, thus subjecting themselves to the unsavory respect of ‘Orders from Above’ rather than staying true to the cardinal principles and values provided for in the constitution of Uganda.      
The Way Forward: So, what can be done to bring to justice the likes of General Kale Kayihura, and, ultimately, Mr Yoweri Museveni, the Godfather of much of this grandiose criminality and obnoxious illegalities? How will these ‘un-prosecutable’ citizens become ‘prosecutable? How will they be made to be the subjects rather than the masters of the supreme laws of the land?
The answer lies somewhere in the freedom struggle now being wedged across the Ugandan nation. The liberation struggle now underway seeks to create a New Uganda, a Free Uganda, where “all are equal and none is more equal than others”; where “all men and women are the same before the law”;  “where the leaders are servants, not masters of the people”; and where “Justice is always served and real, and not Unserved and Denied.”
The way forward for Uganda is therefore the intensification of the freedom struggle, for, only when the country is free from Museveni and Musevenism, will Justice become real and a common feature of the people’s living experience.
The Struggle Continues.
Editor's Note: Please sign Petition demanding the indictment of Kayihura for crimes against humanity

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