“We are still in shock. It is so surprising. But if it is true that the officers arrested were implicated in the murder of Kaweesi, then it is so disappointing because these officers have been there for the family."
The family of the former Assistant Inspector General of Police, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, has spoken out on the arrest of former Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura on Wednesday.
When Saturday Vision visited the family home in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb, there was presence of heavy security at the gate.
Annet, the wife of the late Kaweesi, said she was unable to speak because she was not feeling well. She promised to give a response at the right time. However, a family member, who preferred anonymity, said the family had been briefed about the arrests and that they were willing to co-operate.
“We are still in shock. It is so surprising. But if it is true that the officers arrested were implicated in the murder of Kaweesi, then it is so disappointing because these officers have been there for the family,” the relative said.
However, Leo Ruhinda, Kaweesi’s brother, said they were not surprised. He talked about the frustrations they had endured as they sought justice for Kaweesi and thanked the army for the timely intervention.
Ruhinda said the family had been complaining since bits of evidence from Nixon Agasiirwe and Jonathan Baroza seemed to pin the Police, especially Kayihura, on the murder of their brother and nothing was being done about it.
“We are happy that arrests have been made and we are ready to face them in court,” Ruhinda said, adding that he was speaking on behalf of his siblings, Phina Bagenda and Vincent Kayitana. He said they had come up with a list of 25 suspects, who included Kayihura and his close men, and had been trying to meet President Yoweri Museveni or any other high ranking official in the Government in vain.
Of all the people on his list, only five have not been arrested. “I am appealing to authorities to further probe Kayihura’s personal assistant Jonathan Baroza. I have evidence from what my late brother used to tell me and I offered this information to the Police, but it was ignored,” Ruhinda said.
The family said they stopped getting excited over the different suspects who were being arrested after discovering that some people in the Police were only using the arrests to confuse the nation. “But now, we are getting closer to the killers. It would actually be better for the killers to confess now and save themselves from the wrath of public opinion and God,” Ruhinda said.
He thanked the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) saying without them, the case had already been muddled up. The family attributed the recent good developments on the prayers said for them by Fr Matiya Kamulegeya, who has been saying Mass at the home of Kaweesi in Kitwekyanjovu every end of month since their brother died.
The decision to arrest Kayihura and his former close confidants was arrived at on Monday in a security meeting chaired by President Museveni at State House. Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, defence, internal affairs ministers, Chief of Defence Forces Gen. David Muhoozi, ISO boss and CMI boss, among others, attended.
Security chiefs demanded that President Museveni arrests Kayihura insisting that the confessions from the arrested Police officers who included Nixon Agasirwe, Joel Aguma and one Kasiba, linked Kayihura to a number of crimes with which they were charged.
The source said Museveni was on pressure from the United Nations following reports that Kayihura sanctioned the arrest and secret extradition of some of refugees.
The operation, codenamed Operation Arrest ADF, was then secretly launched and the army called Brig. Kayanja Muhanga to beef up security in Mbarara and Lyantonde after an army chopper that flew two army officers, deputy CDF Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbadi and CMI boss Abel Kandiho, failed to get Kayihura at his farm in Lyantonde.
Kayihura would later be intercepted in what sources say were attempts to flee and driven to Makenke barracks from where the army chopper picked him up on Wednesday. He was flown to his home before bringing him to Kampala.
New Vision has also learnt that Kayihura’s interrogation was conducted by a joint security team led by the security minister, Gen. Elly Tumwine, defence minister Adolph Mwesige, Kandiho, director general of internal security organisation Kaka Bagyenda, director of counterterrorism Abbas Byakagaba and CID director Grace Akullo.
The army had drafted a series of holding charges against Kayihura, which include torture, Kaweesi murder, abuse of office, espionage and illegal extradition of refugees to Rwanda. This was confirmed by Kayihura’s lawyer, Caleb Alaka, who visited his clients currently detained at Makindye military barracks.
Alaka said he had gone to visit Kayihura and the other officers to discuss with them the next step and get instructions on how to proceed.
Other officers arrested include former head of crime intelligence, Lt. Ndahura Atwoki; former cyber intelligence chief Richard Ndaboine; Kayihura’s former personal assistant, Jonathan Baroza; former Kampala South Regional Police commander, Siraje Bakaleke; former commander of Police Flying Squad, Herbert Muhangi, and SPC Kasiba.
All the suspects had been dropped from their positions.