By Stephen Wandera firstname.lastname@example.org
KAMPALA, Uganda Police Force is yet to receive communication from the Inspectorate of Government (IG) directive to streamline the recruitment and promotion of police officers. The ombudsman order seen by the Uganda Vanguard, comes amid claims that the exercise was based on bias and undue favours rather than merit.
The 2016 promotion of 496 police officers legally done by President Museveni – were announced by the former Inspector General of Police Mr Kale Kayihura. Five officers were elevated to assistant inspector general of police (AIGP), the third- highest rank. Others rose to senior commissioner of police (SCP; 19), commissioner (CP; 13), assistant commissioner (ACP; 30), senior superintendent (SSP; 52) and superintendent (SP; 65).
Mr Emilian Kayima, the spokesperson, Uganda Police Force, (UPF) however denied having received communication from the IG.
“I have not seen a letter from the IGG, those are newspaper stories we do pick directives from newspapers,” he said.
We shall study the letter as when we receive it, Mr Kayima, told Uganda Vanguard Sunday, September 30, 2019.
According to Ms Ali Munira, the spokesperson, Inspector General of Government (IGG),
In a probe report, the IGG has recommended the irregular promotions be reversed and some be sent away from the force.
“We started investigations in 2016 and have concluded. Officers who faulted procurement, recruited illegaly and promoted have to face the police council for either demotion,” she said.
There are over 100 officers who are to be affected, noted Ms Munira a day before.
However police maintains that the promotions were as a result of a fair and transparent exercise said any investigations would clear the air.
The investigations were after a petition logged to the IGG’s office following the promotion.
In one of the complaints, Nickson Agasirwe, who joined the police as a Special Police Constable and police informer in Mbarara in 2002, and has never done the mandatory 9-month police training, was in the latest promotions elevated to the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police, also skipping one rank.
Former IGP Kayihura’s assistant Baroza was made to skip two ranks and was promoted to Assistant Commissioner of Police – another promotion that calls for an explanation.
Ms Zurah Ganyana, promoted to the rank of SSP, had reportedly not been recommended from her department [Public Relations dept]. Ms Ganyana is a daughter to the Police Director of Administration Hajji Moses Balimwoyo.
In another case that the petitioners say calls for explanation, Aaron Baguma, the former Central Police Station Commander, who was indicted by the Directorate of public Prosecutions on murder charges was promoted to the rank of Superintendent despite his predicament.
At one point Police refused to produce Mr Baguma before Buganda Road magistrates court to be charged with murder, but the DPP Mr Mike Chibita insisted that the beleaguered police commander will be charged with murder because “he is not above the law”.
The dossier also indicates that Mr Enock Abaine and Mr Dennis Namuwoza, were both promoted to the rank of ACP, four months after they had received a previous promotion, unannounced through the police radio messaging service.
“… in what has shocked everybody, SP Matte (who is DPC Kasese) was made to jump two ranks and is even higher in rank than his regional police commander,” the dossier to the IGG reads. Mr Godfrey Matte, who is now an assistant commissioner of police is higher in rank than Rwenzori East Regional Police Commander SSP Ben Kagarura.
“It is no longer useful to be hard working and to be recommended by your directorate, what is important is to have a godfather at police headquarters,” the dossier reads.
During decoration ceremony of the newly promoted police officers on Friday, Gen. Kayihura admitted he had received complaints after several Police officers shunned the ceremony saying the promotions were a sham based on bribery, tribalism and favouritism.
Gen Kayihura however distanced himself from any culpability, saying the promotions committee is headed by his form deputy, Martins Okoth-Ochola (now IGP), whom he tasked to investigate the claims of tribalism and recommend officers who were unfairly left out.
In the latest dossier to the IGG, it is indicated that all officers recommended for promotion to the Directorate of Administration and Human Resource, as per police procedure, were left out.
According to the dossier, the Traffic Directorate had recommended more than 20 officers, the Forensics Directorate had recommended more than 10 officers, and Criminal Investigations Directorate had also recommended more than 10 officers but only one officer was promoted while the directorate of Interpol had recommended 10 officers for promotion but none was promoted.
All names recommended from the Band department were also sidestepped.
Other promotions that have caused jitters include Lt. Col Ndahura Atwooki Birakurataki to Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP). For one to be an AIGP, one must be head of a given directorate. Lt Col Ndahura, much as he heads of the Directorate of Crime Intelligence, is a serving military officer and his recent appointment is equivalent to a Major General in the army.
The other cases are that of Charles Asaba and Fortunate Habyara. Asaba was promoted to the rank of Senior Commissioner of Police (SCP) yet for one to be at this rank, they are supposed to be in the position of a deputy director. SCP Asaba does not hold any such portfolio. SP Fortunate Habyara was promoted to the rank of commissioner skipping two ranks and is now two ranks higher than his boss in the Professional Standards Unit (PSU).