The former Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, has said he is not in a hurry to leave military detention and is willing to sacrifice his rights in order to allow the truth come out.
Gen Kayihura was speaking through his lawyers Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA).
He said he appreciates the efforts made by a concerned law student of Bishop Stuart University in Mbarara District to push for his release, but he is not in a hurry to be out.
“Our client told us that he has no problem staying in prison as long as the truth is established. What is important at this time is the truth to come out. A number of dramatic and ridiculous allegations have been labelled against him and if the investigating bodies want more time to investigate them, he says it is fine for him to wait,” Mr Elison Karuhanga, one of Gen Kayihura’s lawyers, told Daily Monitor yesterday.
“He is also grateful to the applicant (Mr Deusdedit Bwengye) who has decided to stand up for his rights. He also welcomes all those people concerned about his continued detention but if the truth is to be established while his rights are being trampled upon, he has no problem to remain in prison,” Mr Karuhanga added.
On Tuesday, Mr Bwengye filed an application (habeas corpus) in the High Court in Kampala seeking orders to compel the army to release Gen Kayihura.
The former police chief has been in military detention since June 13 when he was arrested from his country home in Kashagama in Lyantonde District on undisclosed charges.
In his application, Mr Bwengye wants court to order the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Commanding Officer of Makindye military barracks, the Director of Public Prosecutions and Attorney General to appear and justify why Gen Kayihura should not be released.
Early this week, a group of elders and political leaders from Kisoro, Gen Kayihura’s home district, met the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, to plead for his release.
Mr Karuhanga said Gen Kayihura has not yet instructed them as his lawyers to file an application seeking his production in court or release.
A habeas corpus application is made in court to compel authorities to produce a suspect who is deemed to be unfairly held in their custody.
Article 23(4)(d) of the Constitution demands that a person arrested or detained should be brought to court as soon as possible in any case not later than 48 hours from the time of arrest.
Speaking through his lawyer, Gen Kayihura said he is confident the country’s leadership cannot be party to people who are fabricating lies against him, adding that at an appropriate time when the investigations are concluded, he will give detailed information of what is happening.
Mr Karuhanga said while their client is willing to stay longer in the illegal detention, it is illegal to hold him endlessly.
He said each day that passes without his client being released, amounts to a continued breach of his constitutional rights to liberty.
Since Gen Kayihura’s detention, several of his associates or confidants have been arrested on various offences allegedly committed during his tenure as IGP.
The charges include murder, concealment of murder, brutality, kidnap and undisclosed others only categorised as of “grave nature.”
His detained associates include Mr Abdullah Kitatta, former patron of Boda Boda 2010, a notorious gang known for brutalising the public; Senior Commissioner of Police Joel Aguma and Senior Superintendent of Police Nickson Agasirwe.
Speaking to journalists last month, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen Jeje Odongo, said Gen Kayihura and his co-accused have a case to answer.
Gen Odongo declined to give details about the charges but indicated that there is reasonable evidence to support the alleged crimes against the former police chief.