Parliament. The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, yesterday said his officers arrested NRM youth leaders acting on information from “vigilante groups that they may be terrorists”.The police’s chief’s claim before a House committee, however, appears to contradict the fact that at least two youth leaders, currently out on bail, have been charged with alleged corruption and abuse of office.
Gen Kayihura told Parliament’s Defence and Internal Affairs Committee that vigilante groups in the Rubaga Division of Kampala notified the police about the presence of “strange people” who were operating under the cover of darkness in that area.
“In mid-February, police received information [from vigilantes] that there were some strange people moving in the areas of Rubaga division at night and they wondered what are these people because they were suspecting that bayinza kuba batuju (they might be terrorists). “People are vigilant. If you think you can do anything in Uganda under the cover of darkness, forget. We learnt this in 2010,” Gen Kayihura said in reference to the twin terror attacks in the capital city.
He added: “When detectives investigated, they found out that it was some NRM group going around giving money. I think this must have been after the Kyankwanzi resolution. That they were getting signatures that the President was summoning them. It was incidental. It was not our concern but when this comes up, obviously police has an obligation to investigate.”The February arrests of the youth come on the backdrop of a stand-off in the NRM triggered by one of the retreat’s resolutions in which ruling party MPs endorsed President Museveni as the NRM’s sole presidential flag bearer in the 2016 polls.
Mr Museveni’s endorsement was, however, rejected by some members of the party’s youth league, who instead launched a drive to solicit for signatures to hold a delegates’ conference that would elect the party’s flag bearer.
It is some of these youths, who said in a statement that they instead nominated Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi for the position, that have come under police inquiry.
The party’s top organ, the Central Executive Committee has, meanwhile, been reported to have similarly refused to endorse the sole-candidate resolution, observing that it undermined the NRM’s democratic credentials.
Yesterday, CIID director Grace Akullo was forced to take oath to resolve a dispute over who complained about the alleged activities of the NRM youths that were arrested and charged with corruption.
Ms Akullo drew parallels between the matter of the NRM youths and the July 11, 2010 terrorist twin attack on football fans in Kampala that left more than 70 dead, saying the State is the complainant.
KAYIHURA’S POSITION ON NRM YOUTH ARRESTSAmama Mbabazi’s complaints: “When the Prime Minister complained, I explained that nobody is witch-hunting him. I do not even know who supports him and who does not support him. Our concern is the criminality of whatever was going on. Nobody is immune to being investigated if there is indication of criminal conduct and that has been all that we have been doing.”
Ms Jacqueline Mbabazi: “I do not want to be drawn into what is going on in the media. Some people call it wolokoso (gossip). I respect Jacqueline Mbabazi and I am surprised that she is attacking me this way because I have never had a problem with her to my judgement. It may be sorted out if I get the opportunity to talk to her.”
Controversy of the charge sheet: “It is not me who decides what offences are charged, it is the DPP. From there [DPP] it goes to court. It is the court to decide. For court not to have chased away the file if it was defective as they suggest, it means that they [court] might have seen some case to answer.”Involving the police in NRM intrigue: You have to make a distinction between political activities and crimes related to political activities.
Torture of NRM youths: I am not harassing anybody either as an individual or as police. We have taken actions we have taken is in respect of individuals who must be held accountable as other Ugandans whether they have a tag on them or not.” Kizza Besigye: “As far as I am concerned, I am not aware that there are police officers at his house.”
SOURCE: Daily Monitor