By our reporter
Thursday morning at police headquarters in Naguru was a day anticipated since President Yoweri Museveni dropped Gen Kale Kayihura and replaced him with his deputy Martin Okoth Ochola 11 days ago.
A lot has been said since the twitter announcement, but Kayihura has stayed out of the limelight since then, saying nothing until the appropriate time.
Sources close to the general who has been at the helm of the police force for 12 years, say, he was compiling a report to hand over to his successor during this time at a peaceful rural farm in Lyantonde.
News on Wednesday trickled in that Kayihura had completed his accountability during his time in the police uniform, and was ready to hand over the office.
Among his achievement as police boss, Gen. Kayihura said they had worked with the “the little we have to have infrastructural development . Sometimes people don’t pay attention to it but infrastructures are there.” Kayihura has among other things left behind an operating police headquarters and an ongoing construction of modern police apartments.
“We have a mini hospital thanks to the support from the government of Iran, I hope my project of the construction of 1020 apartments won’t die, I hope the new IGP follows it up,” he said, adding, “We’ve acquired great equipment for special policing. I joined a police force that didn’t have wings but I’m glad I’ve left when the force has wings.”
He asked Ochola and his deputy Brig Muzeyi Sabiti to address the problem of welfare in the force.
“Brig Muzeyi Sabiti knows how far we went but one of the greatest things is that we hosted the queen and escorted her, I don’t know how many people have ever been close to her like that” said Kayihura of the new Deputy IGP.
The man who came into the police as a major general, and left it as a four star general, turned up in his military uniform, proud and happy of his service.
And in his words, he said he was indebted to President Museveni for his service.
“This by far isn’t a small achievement. I’m extremely indebted to the president and the commander in chief for giving me the honor to serve this country in this capacity.” He emphasized, “I’ll forever be indebted to the commander in chief and the president for his trust and giving me the opportunity to serve my country in this capacity. He has promoted me through the ranks and that’s not a small achievement.”
The pomp was not left to him, but also exhibited as police mounted a parade for the Ministry of Internal Affairs Gen Jeje Odong who oversaw the handover at the Naguru police headquarters.
There was clearly mixed feelings as the directors and top commanders of the force gathered to witness the handle over ceremony.
Whereas new IGP Ochola reportedly criticized his former boss for throwing out professionalism during his term, Kayihura at the hand over defended his record in the force saying he had left the force much better.
He said during his 12 year tenure crime has gone down compared to 2006 despite violent crimes. “During my tenure, crime came down, you cannot rub it from my record.” He said.
“I may have fallen short in my assignment but I’m only human. I’m handing over a police force that is much better than the one I found.” Gen Kale Kayihura said.
Kayihura critics say he allowed criminals to infiltrate the police force, and take him on for leaving his key job of safeguarding people’s lives and property and concentrated on politicians.
The former IGP admitted mistakes made and apologized for them.
“I leave the force after 12 years of intense activity with lots of optimism for the future of our country. I want to apologize to whoever I stepped on to forgive me, whatever I did was for the good of our country,” he said.
He threw those around into laughter when he said he wants to become a crime preventer during his retirement.
“I was saying the other day that if I retire, I will become a crime preventer, little did I know it will come very quickly.”
Kale Kayihura has been criticized for sponsoring various youth groups, especially crime preventers and Boda Boda 2010 which are said to be infested with criminal elements. However Kayihura believes the concept of involving civilians into policing was a noble thing.
Kayihura expressed optimism in the future of the police, full of young blood.
“We have in this journey had more achievements than failures, however what again gratifies me is to see this team with continuity of young blood into command.”
He also saluted his successor saying he is proof police has good people.
Gen. Kayihura, “ The fact that it’s Mr. Ochola who has been appointed shows that the commander in chief appreciates that something good has been done by our team.”