Gen Kale Kayihura has, for the first time since his disappearance from the public a fortnight ago, spoken out and said unending questions about his health show that Ugandans care about him.
He says he is ‘touched’ that people are really concerned about his life when they don’t see him around, but maintains that he is fine. He says he has been away in Turkey on official business and will grant media interviews when he is back. When this newspaper asked him last Saturday whether he had been indisposed as reported, Gen Kayihura said he would provide details upon his return.
Speculation about Gen Kayihura’s health began swirling after he, contrary to his practice, missed attending two key national events, the President’s June 6 State-of-the-Nation address and the subsequent reading of the national budget.
Gen Kayihura’s last public appearance was during a security meeting chaired by President Museveni at State House Entebbe on May 31.
Speculation about his health gained traction on social media and some online publications after a local daily reported that he was bedridden in India.
On June 12, the Uganda Police Force issued a statement titled “alleged sickness of IGP” refuting the speculation and said Gen Kayihura was in “very good health” and the country should not be alarmed.
“These are complete false stories invented by people with fertile imaginations. There is no iota of truth in these stories,” reads the statement by Police spokesman Asan Kasingye.
He promised that the police chief would have returned to the country by last week.
However, Gen Kayihura did not return as indicated, fuelling further speculation about the state of his health.
Last Saturday, the police released a collection of different photos, one showing Gen Kayihura at a meal table at the Sheraton Hotel in Ankara, in which the four-star general appeared alongside Uganda’s deputy ambassador to Turkey Moses Kasujja and the Dean of the Department of Forensic Medicine at Cukurova University, Prof Mete Korkut Gülmen.