Museveni drops Kayihura, Tumukunde

JAFAR MUGERA

In what appears to be a response to public bickering between bush war comrades, Gen Kale Kayihura and Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, President Yoweri Museveni has relieved them of their duties.

In a statement by Senior Presidential Press Secretary Don Innocent Wanyama, the President appointed Gen Elly Tumwiine to replace Tumukunde as Minister for Security while hitherto Deputy Inspector General of Police Okoth Ochola has replaced Kayihura as Inspector General of Police (IGP). Brig Sabiiti Muzeei who has been the commandant of the Military Police is the new Deputy Inspector General of Police.

The changes come at a time of growing insecurity; characterised by kidnaps and murders across the country which many are blaming on the bickering between Kayihura and Tumukunde.

The two have had an acrimonious relationship since 2005 when Kayihura, then a military assistant to the president led a force of 50 officers to arrest then Brig Henry Tumukunde for speaking against that year’s amendment of the Constitution to remove the presidential term limits.

Tumukunde went on to lose his seat in Parliament where he was as one of the 10 army MPs.
He was subsquently charged and after a lengthy trial, Tumukunde was sentenced to serious reprimand.

Kayihura meanwhile was promoted from the rank of Brigadier to Maj Gen and appointed IGP.
Tumukunde won back Museveni’s favour in 2015 when he was deployed to neutralise former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s networks as he prepared to challenge Museveni’s presidency.
In the post 2016 election cabinet, Museveni named Tumukunde the Security Minister.

Tumukunde vowed to break the criminal gangs that were alleged to be working closely with the police. Indeed by the time of his sacking, the notorious Kifeesi and Boda Boda 2010 groups had been subdued.
Tumukunde had also been leading operations parallel to those of the police to the incense of Kayihura.

In January, Kayihura asked Parliament’s Defence and Internal Affairs committee to task Tumukunde to explain why he does not concetrate on his ministerial duties and get involved in operations.
The two army men had divided the Parliamentary committee into two camps loyal to them.

Their poor working relationship had also created a rift between the Security agancies with the police on several occasions accusing the Internal Security Organization (ISO) of denying them access to some suspects.
The recent case was when Kayihura accused ISO of holding onto suspects in last month’s murder of two Europeans at two Kampala hotels.

Subsquently, Kayihura issued a directive stopping police officers from sharing information with the army.

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