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What’s the problem with Uganda Police?

Editorial

What’s the problem with Uganda Police?

IGP Kale Kayihura

IGP Kale Kayihura

For some time now, events in the Uganda Police Force have been unsettling. Those appear to indicate a dysfunction within the Force. It started with the murder of Assistant Inspector General Andrew Felix Kaweesi. Up to now that assassination has not been solved.

Then, there was the murder of Case Clinic Hospital accountant, Francis Ekalungar. That one was inexplicably and swiftly solved with the arrest of Abdullah Kitatta and his brother, Huzair Kiwalabye, of the Boda Boda 2010.

The latest is the dramatic arrest of Assistant Inspector of Police, Muhammad Kirumira. It follows his alleged exposes in the social media, which for the regular media, there is need for self-censorship because it can be construed as false media, which has neither, demonstrable digital nor documentary evidence.

In between, there have been other incidents that makes the public wonder what the real problem in the Force is. Take the Ekalungar murder: the brutality with which it was carried out is unprecedented. What was the purpose of burning his body beyond immediate recognition?

The apparent robbery of the less than UGX 20m cannot explain it! The criminal Boda Boda 2010 Police militia is reported to have been dealing in billions of shillings in illegalities, so the 20m was a mere small change. So, who and why did the Uganda Police Force allow Kitatta to operate at all?

Kaweesi’s issue is a far cry from the abilities of the former Criminal Investigation Departments (CID) solving such murders. We are reminded of the capability of the CID in the1970s at the time of Hussein Hassan. He was able to solve the intractable criminality of British diplomat, Brian Lee, in faking his own kidnap to the Lake Victoria Nkuse Island.

This was given the fact he was a diplomat and a no-go area for investigation. . For the general public, this incident was inscribed in the collective memory of the Embalasaasa Dance.

Hassan also pointed out to the people involved in the assassination of Brig. Pierino Okoya. For that CID, nobody was above the law! Not so for people like Kitatta for the last seven years – before his arrest.

Kirumira’s arrest is interesting for a number of reasons. For one, he is a selective case of Police Tribunal trial. If this case is about insubordination, there are myriad of such cases that the Police should have handled previously – they were either ignored, or in certain cases, the perpetrators were instead promoted.

Secondly, the manner of his arrest raised eyebrows. It did not befit the standard of a Police Force of stature.

Thirdly, it reminded of the lack of the involvement of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI). In the Kitatta case, it was the CMI who quickly solved the Ekalungar’s murder, leaving the Police floundering. Why? This time round, the involvement of CMI was pointedly ignored by the Police. Why was this?

It is incumbent upon the Uganda Police Force to transparently show the people of Uganda what is going on within it – and that it is operating within the constitutional order.

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