By Fred Kiva
KAMPALA. The Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola has transferred a number of senior police officers in the latest reshuffle, of the many he has made since taking charge of the Force in March this year.
Ochola formally Deputy to his predecessor General Kale Kayihura was elevated to Inspector General of Police following Kayihura’s sacking by President Yoweri Museveni.
Together with his Deputy, former Military Police Commander Brigadier Sabiti Muzeeyi, IGP Ochola has made massive and rapid changes in a move aimed at redeeming the image of the Police Force, dented under Kayihura’s reign.
It was during Kayihura’s reign that Police Spokesperson Assistant Inspector General of Police Andrew Felix Kaweesi was assassinated and during burial, President Museveni openly directed Gen Kayihura to clean up the Force which he said had been infiltrated by criminals.
Indeed a number of top police officers, including Gen Kayihura himself have since been arrested and are facing a number of criminal charges, ranging from engaging in armed robbery, illegal repatriation of Rwandese and failure to protect war material, among others. With the latest reshuffle, it’s clear that IGP Ochola continues his efforts to clean up and improve the Police Force.
In the October 15 message to all units issued by the director in charge of Human Resource and Administration, AIGP Moses Balimwoyo, a total of 54 police officers have been transferred to various stations around the country.
In the transfers, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Joseph Bakaleke Gwaido who has been the DPC for the Central Police Station in Kampala has been transferred to Kiryandongo as DPC.
As DPC Kampala Central Police Station, Bakaleke has personally commanded a number of operations in the City Centre, especially quelling riots and the most recent ones were during the mobile money and social media tax headed by musician turned politician and Kyadondo East Member of Parliament, Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine).
Bakaleke personally participated in the arrest of some of the protesters on Kampala Road as they attempted to march to Parliament. The transfers also indicate that some of the officers moved have been on refresher training courses.
Among them is Superintendent of Police, Jackson Mucunguzi, formerly in charge of Makerere University police station, who has been on course is transferred to Jinja road police station as the DPC, replacing Superintendent of Police Eliau Osega who has been transferred to Lamwo.
Others transferred is Superintendent of Police Bernard Akankwasa who has been moved from Katonga Region to Kampala Metropolitan South as Deputy Regional Police Commander. Akankwansa has experience in public order management, having previously served as regional Field Force Unit (FFU) Commander for Albertine region and later Hoima District Police Commander from where he was moved a few months ago.
While FFU Commander Albertine, Akankwasa quelled a number of opposition riots as key opposition leaders thronged the oil region to mobilize the communities against what they described as injustices in oil exploration, thus distabilizing oil activities.
A number of times Akankwasa personally arrested then FDC President Kizza Besigye as he led the protests in the region. His placing in the busy Kampala Metropolitan Area is seen as a suitable move for him.