The Government says it will not intervene in the move by the US government to slap travel and economic sanctions against former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen. Kale Kayihura.
Last Saturday, the Trump administration issued sanctions against Kayihura, citing evidence of serious human rights abuse against Ugandan citizens, corruption and torture.
However, according to the Deputy Attorney General, Rukutana Mwesigwa, the Uganda government will not take a position on the matter. He says the US is a sovereign country which is at liberty to slap sanctions against anyone it deems it.
“The US is a sovereign country; it takes its decisions the way it wants to take them. If they say we do not want so and so in our country, who are we to say you should have him?” asked Rukutana.
According to New Vision, they claim that yesterday in a phone interview, Rukutana said the Government had not interested itself in the matter, adding that no position will be taken on the matter.
Just like the Deputy Attorney General, Fred Enanga, the Uganda Police spokesperson, where Gen. Kayihura served as IGP for 12 years, said there was nothing the Police could do about the move taken by the US. He said the accusations by the US were against the person of Kayihura and not the institution of the Uganda Police.
“Have they written to Police or sanctioned the Uganda Police Force? This is something directed to an individual,” Enanga said, before referring New Vision to Kayihura’s detailed response to the allegations.
In a statement issued by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, the US noted that it has credible information that Kayihura was involved in torture and or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, through command responsibility of the Flying Squad, a specialized unit of the Police.
The statement noted that the squad in question reported directly to Kayihura, the then chief of the Uganda Police Force.
“As the IGP, Kayihura led individuals from the Flying Squad Unit, which engaged in the inhumane treatment of detainees at the Nalufenya Special Investigations Centre,” the statement read in part.
It further stated that: “Kayihura, has engaged in numerous acts of corruption, including using bribery to strengthen his political position within the Government of Uganda, stealing funds intended for official government business, using government employees to smuggle illicit goods including drugs, gold, and wildlife out of Uganda.”
The Donald Trump administration said any assets owned by Gen. Kayihura in the US or are in possession or control of US persons anywhere, must be reported to the US Department of the Treasury’s Ofice of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for seizure.
“As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of Kayihura and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50% or more by him alone or with other designated persons, that are in the US or in the possession or control of US persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.”
“OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by US persons or within (or transiting) the US that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons,” said a separate statement issued on Friday by Sigal Mandelker, the treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
The US administration also imposed a visa ban on Kayihura, his spouse Angela Umurisa Gabuka, his daughter Tesi Uwibambe, and his son Kale Rudahigwa. The visa ban means Kayihura and his family cannot travel to the US.