General Kale Kayihura has said he hopes his departure from the Police Force will usher in a period of peace for the Police and the supervising ministry.
Kayihura was speaking at Police HQ in Naguru on Thursday while handing over the office of Inspector General Of Police to Okoth Ochola .
Kayihura was knifed as IGP two weeks ago after 12 years in charge. The President who sacked him told the country four days later during International Women’s Day in Masindi that he had removed weevils which had infested the police force.
But Kayihura who praised himself for improving the Police and bringing down crime, also castigated himself for causing controversy which clouded the image of the Police for much of the 12 years he was boss.
Kayihura said: “I tend to attracts controversy and since I am leaving, I hope the (Police) force and you Mr minister will now have peace.’
He went on to issue a general apology for his wrongs: “If there is anybody whose toes I stepped on, I am sorry. It was not personal but for the good of the country.”
“In spite of the recent bad image, I am handing over a police force that is in better shape than the one I found. The force is now built on a solid foundation. And in spite of the setbacks, we are moving in the right direction…for any failures, we share them as a team just as we share the successes.”
Kayihura thanked his boss the President for letting him serve for 12 years and also promoting him to a full general in due course. “President Museveni promoted me to Major General, then to Lieutenant General and finally to full General. This is no easy achievement and I thank the President for his confidence in me.”
He added: “As you know, I am a loyal soldier in the UPDF and a loyal cadre and that is how I will remain. I am also a loyal soldier in the struggle to transform our country.”
While Kayihura judged himself a success, the force he leaves behind is saddled by a negative image and debts and suppliers of foodstuff are refusing to make more deliveries unless the police clears their arrears.
Badru Kisitu, the chairperson of the Police Suppliers Association, said they demand Shs33billion: “we have supplied beans, rice and posho for all these years and none of us has received money for the supplies made. Where does the police expect us to get money to run our business?”
At the opening of the police council in Kigo, Wakiso District last month, Kayihura publicly said the Police has a debt of Shs125b in unpaid electricity, water, food and fuel bills.
Gen. Jeje Odong, the minister for internal affairs who presided over the ceremony with his deputy Obiga Mario Kania thanked Kayihura for his contribution to the Uganda Police Force.
Gen. Odong said: “Gen Kale, there is no doubt in my mind that you have added value to the police force. Both quantitatively and qualitatively,”