By IVAN OKUDA, Saturday, 18 July 2015 The Monitor (Uganda)
Kampala – The Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, has warned presidential aspirant Amama Mbabazi that any attempt to use force to carry out his campaign meetings before his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party endorses him, will meet firm and stern action from the police.
“Mbabazi cannot use kifuba (force). That is not even good for our country, where we have come from although he is saying this and that. If he has gone through the process of the party, we have no problem,” Kayihura told Saturday Monitor in an exclusive interview at his Kampala office on Thursday.
Gen Kayihura reiterated his resolve to stop Mr Mbabazi from proceeding with his countrywide consultative meetings unless he is cleared by the NRM.
On July 9, police blocked Mbabazi and the opposition’s Forum for Democratic Change candidate Dr Kizza Besigye from going to their campaign meetings in Mbale and Kasangati in Wakiso District respectively. However Kayihura has since allowed Besigye and his rival former army commander Gen Mugisha Muntu to carry on with their campaigns seeking to represent FDC in next year’s presidential elections.
On Thursday, Mr Mbabazi through his lawyers, wrote to President Museveni as chairman of the NRM Central Executive Committee asking him to overhaul the new party regulations on primary elections, which among others, bar losers in the flag bearer race from standing as independent candidates or be fined Shs10m or a jail term of one year for contravention of the rules. Mr Mbabazi threatened to pull out of the NRM electoral process which he said is filled with illegalities which take away his rights.
This suggests he could officially break ranks with the NRM and stand as an independent or on another forum.
Mr Mbabazi however, said he will issue a new programme next week, reinforcing his earlier resolve that not even police’s interference will stop his consultation schedules.
During the Thursday interview with Saturday Monitor, Gen Kayihura said he did not expect the former NRM secretary general to defy the police.
“He is the one who will be creating problems for us if he wants to act unlawfully,” Kayihura warned Mbabazi, adding: “If police is wrong, Mr Mbabazi, a former attorney general, should seek redress in the courts of law. Okay let’s assume we are wrong, the right course of action is not to confront police.
The courts of law are open. This is the language I am hearing him use. I have never heard him use that language. I have known him as an honourable, respected personality, not engaging in this type of provocative conduct which he knows is wrong,” Kayihura argued passionately.
Dr Besigye recently described Kayihura as an NRM activist. Shortly after the 2011 presidential elections, President Museveni also referred to Kayihura as an NRM cadre.
Gen Kayihura told Saturday Monitor on Thursday that he had no regrets being labelled an NRM cadre. He argued that service to government practically means one serves the ruling party.
“Those blind to this reality, don’t know where they are,” he charged.
“If anybody in this government thinks they are not working for the NRM, then they don’t know where they are. If a leader, even if it is FDC in power tomorrow, says you are a good cadre, you are doing their work. That is what it means, so what was wrong with the President saying I am a good NRM cadre?” Kayihura wondered.
He also reassured the Muslim community about the continued assassinations of sheikhs. Kayihura reiterated that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels, whose leader Jamil Mukulu has been extradited from Tanzania to Kampala for trial, are responsible for the killing of Muslim leaders in the country.