By Kampala Post Reporter
Former Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura moved over 50 senior police officers in one of his last activity before he was shown the exit as the police boss.
Some of the officers moved include Kampala East Regional Police Commander Siraj Bakaleke who was recently implicated in the alleged robbery Shs1.4billion (USD 400,000) from Korean investors at gunpoint.
Just hours before he was sacked, Kayihura moved Bakaleke to the police Political Commissariat as Acting Commissioner in charge political education.
This was contained in memo dated March 3 to all police units. News of his sacking would be announced by the senior Presidential Press Secretary Don Wanyama 72 hours later.
Gen Kayihura who has been at the helm of the police since 2006 also moved former police spokesman Fred Enanga and Deputy Police Spokesperson Polly Namaye to the Police Information and Publications Department.
President Museveni has appointed Okoth Ochola, a career police officer and he will be deputised by Brigadier Sabiiti Muzei. Ochola has been deputy during Kayihura's time as IGP while Muzei has been the commandant of the military police. Muzei has previously served as the deputy commander of the elite Special Forces Commander.
At the time of his sacking, Kayihura has been battling to polish the institution’s image with the Internal Affairs Minister Gen Jeje Odongo recently saying the police image was at its lowest.
Last year in March, President Yoweri Museveni said that the police had been infiltrated by criminals urging Gen Kayihura to clean his house.
This was at vigil organized at former Police Spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi who was gunned down as he left his Kulambiro home at around 9am.
The President told the mourners that some police officers were making it hard to fight crime since some of them were involved in the vice.
To explain his point, the President said that some people would volunteer information to the police but the police officers would inform the criminals who would torment the civilians. Museveni said that some people had even resorted to taking the information to the Head of State himself.
Kayihura - Tumukunde Relationship
For sometime now, there has been a general feeling among members of the public that Gen Kayihura and Gen Tumukunde who was also relieved of his duties as security were at loggerheads, something that many argued was a danger to the security of Uganda.
Gen Kayihura while appearing before a committee of Parliament acknowledged his disagreements with the former security minister although he said the disagreements were normal and that they happen everywhere in the world.
Moments later, their comrade and minister of justice and constitutional affairs Geb Kahinda Otafiire advised the two to "sort their issues" privately.
“They have differences like I used to have differences with my brother Amama Mbabazi but for us we were civilised. We never put it in the open. We used to have a lot of differences but we were civilised. If they have issues, let them sit down and sort them out as old comrades,” Otafiire said.
Museveni Speaks Out
Although he did not mention names, President Museveni while in Luweero last month said that the bickering between Kayihura and Tumukunde would be sorted.
“Security organs are supposed to serve the interests of Ugandans, not any individual. It’s going to be sorted out.
“The infighting is between individuals, but not the security organs. It’s a big [problem] which will be sorted out. You have seen that some of them have gone to Luzira and many of them will see themselves in prison if they don’t reform. It’s going to be resolved.”
Indeed, on Sunday, before news broke that the two officers had been asked to leave their offices, President Museveni said on twitter that there was laxity especially in the police and prisons.
“Some people talked about the Entebbe women, the people in Masaka that were hacked, the killing of Kaweesi, etc. In many of those cases, a number of suspects have been arrested and arraigned in courts of law. It is also true that in some cases, arrests have not been made yet.” The President noted that his tweets were in response to what people on social media had been saying after the death of Susan Magara.
Jailed Police Officers
Last year, senior police officers including Commandant of Police Professional Standard Unit, Senior Commissioner of Police Joel Aguma, Senior Superintendent of Police Nixon Agasirwe, former commander of Police Special Operations, Sgt Abel Tumukunde under the Flying Squad, Assistant Superintendent of Police Magada under Crime Intelligence and Faisal Katende also under the Flying Squad were arraigned in the military court over espionage, armed robbery and kidnap of a Rwandan refugee.
Boda Boda 2010
You cannot talk about Gen Kayihura's time as IGP without mentioning the notorious Boda Boda 2010 whose leader Abdullah Kitatta has been arrested and charged with failure to protect war material and unlawful possession of military stores. Charges of failure to protect war material carry a maximum sentence of death upon conviction, while unlawful possession of military stores carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The arrest of the police officers and Kitatta, a powerful ally of Gen Kayihura cannot be detached from the possible fall from grace by the former IGP.