Gen Kayihura, 10 others exit army

The former Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura (left, first row),  and 10 other senior officers whom President Museveni retired from the army at State House Entebbe on August 31, 2023. PHOTO | PPU

What you need to know:

  • The former police chief spoke on behalf of his colleagues, thanking President Museveni for freeing him of all criminal charges. 

President Museveni yesterday advised a group of retiring army Generals to be careful how they invest the substantial retirement packages they are set to receive.

The President and Commander-in-Chief of Uganda’s armed forces, who is also a retired General, warned the group of 11 senior officers, including the former Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, against sinking their money in huge projects, like hotels and schools, where they will get stuck midway.

He spoke to them at a private function inside State House Entebbe, counselling that it would be wise to invest in food production. A media release issued last evening from State House said the President told the officers to pace themselves.

“You should do something small which you are sure of. Like a man called Nyakana in the Fort Portal area, he has listened to our message and with 1.2 acres of land. He earns over Shs240 million in a year from eight cows of milk and poultry,” he said, adding: “So if you can get five acres, this is a lot of land which can help you to get a lot of income. If you invest in food production, you cannot go wrong. You see when we got Corona [virus], things like tourism collapsed but eating never collapsed.”

In walking away from active duty, Gen Kayihura was joined by Lt Gen James Nakibus Lakara, Maj Gen Sam Wasswa Mutesasira, Maj Gen Joseph Arocha, Maj Gen David Wakaalo, Brig Austine Kasatwooki Kamanyire, Brig Steven Oluka, Brig Frank Katende Kyambadde, Brig Emmanuel Kwihangana, Brig Wilson Muhabuzi and Brig Ham Atwooki.

According to the media release, the former police chief spoke on behalf of his colleagues, thanking President Museveni for freeing him of all criminal charges that had hang over his head for the last six years.

“I am the happiest human being on earth now,” Gen Kayihura said.

Gen Kayihura was freed by the General Court Martial on Wednesday, August 30, after military prosecutors withdrew charges against him.

Six years ago in August 2018 he was arraigned before the army General Court Martial on charges of failing to protect war materiel, aiding or abetting kidnapping of Rwanda refugees, allowing use of arms to unauthorised persons and failing to provide accountability of arms assigned to violent crime police units.

Gen Kayihura said their retirement will allow younger and more energetic soldiers take on the mantle of leadership.

“Today, the country is peaceful, secure and stable unlike our times when we joined when there was duka duka (instability),” Gen Kayihura said.

In his remarks, the Commander-in-Chief had explained that the army took long to retire the Generals because it would not have been right to send them home with package not befitting of their rank and service.

“This retirement, do not regard it as becoming redundant now, no, not at all. This is like a mutation; from one form of service to another one and that is why we had to hold [your] retirement until we had solved the problem of the package. I can assure you that what you are going with is considerable,” President Museveni said.

“That is why last year I permitted the retirement of Generals and that is why for a long time we did not permit the retirement of casualties at Mubende, we said they should stay until we give them a good retirement package to make sure that their lives in the villages are good. Now this package that you have got is really good,” he said.

State minister for Defence and Veteran Affairs, Mr Jacob Oboth Oboth said the retired soldiers have left a legacy on which the next generation would build.

“I know that you are retiring with goals that are not yet accomplished given the complexity of the world in which we live. The work will never be finished but you are passing the mantle, knowing that you have made positive changes directly impacting on the wellness and operational effectiveness of the mighty UPDF,”  Mr Oboth Oboth said.

At the same function, Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi is quoted to have said that the enhanced emoluments for retiring senior officer has settled their hearts.

“We therefore want to thank you (President Museveni) for the enhanced emoluments, which has cured the fear of the unknown and the reluctance for retiring,” Gen Mbadi said.