Letter to HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda
Dear Mr. President, with all due respect, permit me to briefly comment on the arrest of the former police chief General Kale Kayihura and his leadership team. The East African of June 16, 2018, went as far as asserting that General Kayihura sought to overthrow you with support from a foreign power:
”Gen Kayihura and his associates face “serious cases” that include “treason, espionage, murder, recruitment, and creation and arming of illegal militia with intent to overthrow the government…In addition, security dossiers lay bare Gen Kayihura’s alleged collaboration with a known “foreign” country, and put him at the center of a plot to facilitate operatives within Uganda’s forces to target President Museveni.”
Your Excellency, let me take you back to 2001. That is when you shared your analysis of President Paul Kagame’s designs in Uganda. I am talking about the analysis you shared with Claire Short, the then UK’s Secretary of State for Overseas Development. Your analysis of ”the deteriorating situation in the bilateral relations between Uganda and the Government of Rwanda” went as follows:
”We have no doubt that Rwanda is planning aggression against us either using proxies or, even, directly. There are some Ugandan Army officers who ran from here, jumping bail or fleeing potential prosecution for a number of crimes, to Rwanda. Since some months these officers, who we hear were given amnesty in Rwanda, have been frantically telephoning many serving Army officers in Uganda asking them to betray their country by spying for Rwanda and fighting our Government and people…We cannot countenance nor tolerate another round of terrorism this time organized by Mr. Kagame whom we sacrificed so much to stand with when the whole World was either against their cause or indifferent to it.”
Mr. President, it appears that the Rwandan President did not end his aggression against Uganda. One thing changed though. Instead of using proxies, Kagame audaciously captured the entire senior leadership of the Ugandan police force via your most trusted officer — Kayihura.
This is what we are learning from the arrests of Ugandan police leadership beginning with Kayihura himself. It is now widely reported that Rwandan agents hijacked elements within the Ugandan police force engaging in all manner of illegal activities, not least kidnapping Rwandan refugees back to Rwanda. The infiltration of the Kayihura-led police force did not stop at the national level. Also captured were district police commanders.
Your Excellency, perhaps the most shocking factor is the eleven million-strong network that includes Boda Boda gangs that were part of the Kayihura machine. This became a formidable force within the Ugandan police commanded by the now arrested rogue officers. Among these rogue officers is an operative who ”claims to have been offered $100,000 by the foreign country to plot a high-level assassination inside Uganda” — according to TheEast African.
In conclusion, Mr. President, forgive me for sharing an unsolicited opinion on this matter. Whether Kagame and Kayihura sought to remove you from power is beside the point. The crucial issue is that your 2001 analysis — that is seventeen years ago — is vindicated. Destabilizing a sister republic is unacceptable.
Mr. President, I have full confidence that regardless of the actions you take Sir, you will maintain your 2001 view that your adversary is Kagame, and not the people of Rwanda or the Kinyarwanda-speakers who call Uganda home. As you rightly stated in 2001, ”the people of Rwanda are not our enemies. If Mr. Kagame decides to be our enemy, it will be himself that is the enemy and his few collaborators.”