TORTURE: Why Kayihura, Tumukunde Skipped Human Rights Commission Meeting

Uganda Police chief Gen Kale Kayihura was no show at a meeting the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) had summoned him to answer torture claims against the force.

Kayihura the Internal Affairs, Defense and Security ministers; Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Uganda Prison Services and Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) had been summoned to answer claims of tortured levelled against the force by suspects in the murder former police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his body guard Kenneth Erau and Geoffrey Mambewo.

Defence state minister Col Charles Okello Engola and representatives from CMI, Uganda Prison Services and UPDF turned up.

Police sent no representative.

The same meeting was supposed to be attended by security minister Henry Tumukunde.

There has been a war of words between Tumukunde and Kayihura, mainly thrown around in the press.

Tumukunde has told Uganda Police to own up if they make mistakes, and to improve in the performance. This, pundits claim, could have destroyed relationship between the two – if at all it existed.

But a bombshell nailed this relationship deeper into oblivion after suspect Godfrey Musisi Galabuzi claimed police officials had reportedly promised him Shs 1bn if he implicated Tumukunde in Kaweesi’s murder.

It would have been a tough meeting had the two soldiers met in the same hall to discuss torture – later alone meet each other in the corridors – amidst these flying accusations, pundits claim.


Amooti Katebalirwe, the acting chairperson of UHRC, Tumukunde had communicated his absence from the meeting. The minister reportedly said he would be out of the country.

Katebalirwe said the meeting was supposed to take place last week but “we postponed the meeting last week after the deputy IGP, Okoth Ochola, asked that we move it to this week when the IGP is around to attend it”.

It seems UHRC has not summoned Kayihura in person but through Ochola.

According to Katebalirwe, “The DIGP only told me last evening after I failed to get to Kayihura that he would attend a meeting at Internal Affairs in the morning. We thought he would come later or send a representative.”

On the way forward, Katebalirwe said, “We will communicate another date for the meeting and we hope Kayihura will be in attendance.”

In August 2016, Kayihura was summoned to court over the beating up of opposition kingpin Dr Kizza Besigye’s supporters.

But Kayihura was no show. Instead his “supporters” turned rowdy at the court.

Marion Ayebazibwe