By Fred Kiva
Since assuming office in March this year, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Martin Okoth Ochola has made a number of changes in which he has merged some Units and Directorates created by the former (IGP) Gen. Kale Kayihura. He also overturned appointments and transfers made by the former IGP in his last activity as the Police boss.
IGP Ochola's latest shakeup continues and on Friday, Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Commissioner of Police (CP) Frank Mwesigwa was replaced by CP Moses Kafeero Kabugo. Mwesigwa has now been moved to the tourism police unit. Kafeero has been commander for the police Staff College in Bwebajja.
In the earlier changes, Ochola redeployed officers who had been moved to the IGP’s office by Kayihura a week before. He also moved AIGP Abass Byakagaba, an FBI trainee from Oil and Gas to counter-terrorism, a docket he had occupied previously. The new IGP would later issue a Force re-organization order in which he merged Oil and Gas with the Directorate of counter- terrorism to form a new Division of Oil and Gas.
In Just less than two months, Ochola who was Gen Kayihura’s deputy has also put the supervision of Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Criminal Case File Tracking Task force and Flying Squad Unit under the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID). These previously reported to IGP Kayihura directly.
Re-setting the Institution
According to Crispin Kaheeru, the Coordinator Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) the changes made so far indicate that the new IGP is trying to re-set the Institution.
“Police is supposed to be a civil Force but it had become more of a military one, both in structure and in form,” Kaheeru who has been critical of the police under Kayihura told the Kampala Post.
However during his handover, Kayihura apologized for whatever had gone wrong during his police leadership.
Other analysts however, believe the changes may have little to change, apart from Ochola trying to expose the long unresolved differences with his boss General Kale Kayihura.
Kaheeru partly concurs with this view, “Having been part of the previous administration, it’s possible that he was being submerged, but from these few changes, he (Ochola) could do things differently.”
Ochola was elevated to IGP at the beginning of March when President Yoweri Museveni who is the Commander-in-Chief relieved General Kale Kayihura of his duties. Kayihura had been at the helm of the Uganda Police Force for twelve years.
The new IGP is being deputized by Brig. Sabiiti Muzeeyi the former Commander of Military Police.
The new police administration comes in at the time when the law enforcement institution is on the spot over increased criminality where some of its top officers have been implicated. This has affected the Police Force’s public image and trust.
Internal Affairs Minister Gen. Jeje Odongo, under whose supervision the police lies has tasked the new police administration to do more to redeem the Force’s image.
The massive changes could be geared towards putting right the police reputation.