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Parliament approves new security chiefs

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Parliament approves new security chiefs

From Left: IGP Okoth Ochola, Gen. Tumwine and Brig. Muzeeyi

The appointments committee of parliament on Wednesday March 7, vetted and approved the newly appointed Inspector General of Police(IGP) Martin Okoth Ochora, his deputy Brig. Sabiiti Muzeeyi and Security Minister Gen. Elly Tumwiime.

The trio was on Sunday evening appointed by the President replacing long-serving IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura.

After the vetting, Tumwine pledged to bridge the security gaps and resurrect people’s confidence in the security organs in the country.

“I am ready to serve the country and secure both the people and their property. I equally call upon you the media to critique where things go wrong and give credit where it is due. This will help you not to say that the country is on fire, yet it is not,” Gen. Tumwine said minutes after his being vetted.

Brig. Sabiiti Muzeei, former commandant of the military police snubbed questions from the media, saying he will deliberate to the press once the whole vetting process is thoroughly done.

“You see, am just coming from the committee, but I will arrange and communicate to you at the end of the vetting exercise,” he said.

Ochora, known to be media shy, is the first carrier police man to command the Uganda Police Force in 17 years. But Ochola has inherited a force that has generally lost public trust, following widespread reports of abuse of human rights, a spike in crime and political suppression of the opposition.

Under Kayihura, police was on numerous occasions accused of conniving with criminals who caused insecurity in the country. The most recent case was the arrest of Abdallah Kitatta and other leaders of the group Boda Boda 2010. Leaders of the group were by the Chieftaincy of military intelligence (CMI) and the Internal security organization(ISO) over the gruesome murder of Case clinic accountant Francis Ekalungar, yet Kayihura had days before defended Kitata in Parliament whom he described as a partner in eliminating crime.

Kale kayihura is highly remembered for clamping down on the opposition activities across the country in the guise of enforcing the public order management act. However, Dr. Kizza Besigye, the four time Forum for Democratic Change(FDC) presidential flag bearer was yesterday pessimistic in the change of way of operation of the police under the new leadership saying the newly appointed men at the helm of the force could be worse the Gen Kayihura since they have been part of “rotten” system, and will serve to prove their worth.

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