Opposition lauds U.S on Kayihura sanctions

Opposition leaders have welcomed the U.S sanctions against former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale Kayihura over alleged human rights violations and corruption in the police force at the time of his stewardship.

On Friday, the United States government announced visa and economic sanctions against Kayihura in a statement issued by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

OFAC said that it has credible information that Kayihura was involved in torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, through command of an entity of government. Kayihura was IGP to whom Flying Squad a unit of police that has been associated with for torture reported directly.

Kayihura is also accused of corruption and bribery to strengthen his political position, as units under his command committed serious human rights abuses against people.

Speaking about the sanctions, DP president-general, Norbert Mao said that while he is happy about the development,  the sanctions ought to have been issued while Kayihura still held the IGP docket.

To Mao, the sanctions should be extended to other government and security officials accused of involvement in human rights violations.

“We infact expect more sanctions against other senior officials in this government including the Presidnet of Uganda. By targeting Kale Kayihura, it’s a step in the right direction, we expect that they will move upwards. When you’re shooting at stairs, you start with the top ones you don’t start from below,” said Mao.

On his part, Chief Opposition Whip and Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Semujju Nganda said, by slapping sanctions against Kayihura, the U.S had confirmed the public outcry that has existed for years.

“That confirms things we have been saying that Mr Museveni and his regime are very brutal when dealing with people who are opposed to them… it is a confirmation that actually the things we have said,  what Amnesty International has been writing about are acts happening in Uganda,” said Ssemujju.

Like Mao, Ssemujju also want the U.S government to extend the sanctions to other officials holding senior positions in security and government offices.

“I am very happy because we warned Kayihura each day that these things which you do when you’re still in power, there will be a pay time and we want to invite  other countries not only the US to do the same thing,” Ssemujju said.

The Executive Director of Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU), Cissy Kagaba welcomed the move by the United States.

She wonders how the government failed to institute charges of corruption against Kayihura.

Kagaba however, notes that the economic sanctions against Kayihura may not have a big impact on him since he could choose to abandon travelling to the U.S.