Remembering Museveni's 'niko' As Former Igp!

By Abbey Semuwemba
Former IGP, Edward Kale Kayihura
Former IGP, Edward Kale Kayihura

Friends, Some things are unbelievable till when you see them happen. Up to now, I find it hard to believe that Gen Edward Kale Kayihura is no longer the Inspector General of Police(IGP),though I'm not surprised that he has kept a low profile ever since he was removed from office. That's what any other wise person would do under the present political climate in Uganda.

The "extraor­dinary relationship" that Kale purported to have had with president Museveni for twelve years as IGP, was of intense mutual obsession and benefit. I have never seen anybody as faithful to Museveni as Kale, and that's why I'm surprised that he hasnt yet been deployed elsewhere.As IGP, Kale was the equivalent of Alexander Nikolayevich Poskrebyshev, Joseph Stalin's closest aide, who as the head of the so-called Special Section of the Central Committee, was in plainer language the official keeper of secrets. Just like Kale, Niko(as he was sometimes called) was a lawyer by profession, smart,friendly, with a superb memory and a very talented organiser. He was later forced to retire when things got hot in the political arena.His enemies did everything possible to sabotage his relationship with Stalin. He died a somehow miserable man!

Similary, If there's anybody in Uganda who knows the secrets of president Museveni, and high profile criminals, its Kale. That head of his has got more secretive information than all intelligence organisations combined, i believe. For the first time in my life, I watched a known criminal giving a live interview on TV, confessing to murdering people and working with the police, but he wasn't in chains or anything like that, and walked freely around Kampala. I also saw a video of Kale publicly defending Abdul Kitatta who is now in prison over various charges. Kitatta was not only a holy fool but a holy terror, described by many as Kale's man in the criminal world.

Kale wielded his authority in proportion to his level of interest. He was a most active intervener when it came to election violence, protests and court orders releasing opposition politicians, where he considered himself an expert.He also took active, often peremptory part in discussions on Ugandans At Heart(UAH) Forum.Topics outside security were evidently of little concern to him; his preserved notations relating to agriculture were sparse, apart from he said that he's into goat rearing and that he had about 500 goats(If i recall).Kale engaged almost everyone regardless of your status, and he remains a member of UAH. At one time when he was busy, he enlisted a beautiful female police representative on UAH who became silent all over a sudden, for reasons known to her.Kale had a strong desire to participate in public life, which sometimes allowed him to make a principled stand, or to help out friends,and at other times drew him into shabby compromises, or indeed into appearing to be serving one party, NRM, and one person, Museveni.

There's one thing I have never understood up to now, why Kale had to celebrate his promotion to a General in May, 2013, in such a style. There was a procession from Mbuya to Parliament Avenue. Normally, such things are done to rub it in the eyes of someone feeling 'nuggu'(hatred) for you. So, I wonder what that was all about. I wish he writes a book to explain all this for us. Coincidentally, his nemesis, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde was also always keen to remind panelists that he is a 'Lt.Gen'. I have never understood this obcession with tittles, honestly. Libya's Gadaffi who did more than both kept himself a 'Colonel' till the time of his death.

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"Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive." - Henry Steele Commager 1902-98