The night Dr Andrew Kayiira’s life was taken away from us

By Henry D Gombya

Dr Andrew Kayiira addresses his then Uganda Freedom Army (UFA) telling them why he had signed to let the UFA become part of the National Resistance Army.
Dr Andrew Kayiira addresses his then Uganda Freedom Army (UFA) telling them why it was necessary to disband them.

27 years ago this day of 6 March 1987, approximately a dozen heavily armed men dressed in Uganda army uniforms, burst onto the lawn of my house in Gaba, just outside Kampala, Uganda’s capital and changed my life forever, forcing my wife and I to leave our mother country and Africa where both of us have never returned to since. I am inviting our readers to come with me on this journey of remembering events that led to the assassination of Dr Lutakome Andrew Kayiira and relive the fearful moments that engulfed our lives then and still haunt us, especially my wife to this day.

Having been released from Luzira Maximum Security Prison where he had been held in early 1987 on trumped-up charges of trying to overthrow the Museveni government, I met Dr Kayiira at a relative’s flat just next to the then Apollo Hotel which is now Sheraton Hotel. We met alongside many of his friends to congratulate him on winning the case and to celebrate his freedom.

Without giving any thought about it, I invited Dr Kayiira back to my house. We had just moved into the place, had so much space to ourselves and I thought he would feel quite comfortable there. At the back of my head, I had the thoughts of how just before the year ended, Dr Kayiira had risked his life to protect me after then army chief Gen Bazilio Olara Okello had sent some army chaps to pick me up and give me a lesson or two for reporting for the BBC on what his undisciplined soldiers were up to.

After defeating the group that had been sent to snatch me from the hotel where he had kept and defended me with an armed guard, Dr Kayiira surprised me when he said he would take me to face Gen Olara Okello. I asked him: “Are you mad? That’s the guy who is after my life.” He retorted: “You have to remember that before he does anything to you he will have to kill me first.”

One thought on “The night Dr Andrew Kayiira’s life was taken away from us

  • March 6, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Quite a tragic and traumatic incident you and your family went through and are still experiencing up to today! It is even much more sad, tragic and disheartening to learn that the very people who claim close friendship and relationship
    with Kayiira turned against you after benefiting from his death! However, in a positive note I would wish to think that you have come out of the incident with many invaluable lessons and stronger too!

    Unfortunately some ugandans seem incapable of learning
    from M7 history and continue on dining with him until when it is too late.
    Unbelievably many lost their lives this way and many more continue to do so! For one to effectively deal with M7 one need to be extremely security literate and
    deeply knowledgable of the complexity and intrique of governing today.


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