How Former Ugandan Police Chief, Gen Kale Kayihura, Survived Assassination


The former Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt orchestrated by hardliner Muslims of the Tablic sect in Uganda. This revelation surfaced as the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) entered a plea bargain agreement with four individuals accused of theft and conspiracy to commit murder at the International Crimes Division of the High Court.

The saga began between May and June 2016, when two AK-47 rifles along with 60 rounds of live ammunition were stolen from the Nakudi Police Post in Namayingo District, located in eastern Uganda. A gunshot reported at a resident's home in Sirowa Village, Namayingo, triggered a police operation resulting in the arrest of Okuku Sadam Umalu and his accomplices.

Upon interrogation, the accused admitted to stealing the weapons with intentions to rob and eliminate those perceived as obstacles to the Tablic sect's objectives. Among the targets mentioned were the then Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura, Captain Okumu of DPC Namayingo, and the RDC.

During this period, Gen Kayihura had intensified security operations against suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) terrorists following the assassination of prosecutor Joan Kagezi on March 30, 2015. The hunt for suspects intensified, leading to the recent arrest and remand of John Kibuuka, John Masajjage, Dan Kisekka, and Nasur Abdullah on charges related to Kagezi's murder.

The events unfolded against the backdrop of mysterious murders in Namayingo, Bugiri, and Mayuge districts in 2015, prompting President Museveni to make impromptu visits to affected areas. Notable among the incidents was the assassination of Okware Tito, the NRM party's publicity secretary, and Sheikh Daktur Kadhir Muwaya, a Shia Muslim leader and prominent NRM member.

The ODPP, in its statement, revealed that the criminals in Namayingo also confessed to stealing a gun from a policeman in 2015, using it in various unsuccessful and successful robbery attempts.

In a recent development, the accused opted for a plea bargain arrangement, pleading guilty to the charges. Justice Andrew Bashaija sentenced them to eight years' imprisonment for each count, to be served concurrently. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was represented by Mr. Kyomuhendo Joseph, Chief State Attorney, during these proceedings.

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