Police Reshuffle: Is Kayihura Under Pressure Over Besigye Supporters?

Gen Kayihura is vividl under pressure from either side

The Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura on Tuesday morning made transfers in the police force, order moving a number of senior commanders especially in the greater Kampala Metropolitan area.

The Deputy Police spokesperson Polly Namaye confirmed the transfers which take immediate effect and insisted they are all normal.

However, approved Chimpreports has learnt that the new arrangement by the police boss was made due to pressure from various government officials on Gen. Kayihura.

“Following the beating of Besigye supporters many government officials have piled pressure on him (Kayihura) and he had to change the Kampala police command, ” a source  that preferred anonymity told this website.

The police chief sent the Kampala Metropolitan Police Area commander Abbas Byakagaba to head the police senior command and staff college in Bwebajja, a few months after being appointed KMP boss.

Gen. Kayihura also moved officers who were directly accused and were seen on camera beating Besigye supporters including Byakagaba’s deputy Stephen Tanui.

He also replaced Andrew Kaggwa, the Kampala South Regional Police Commander,   Moses Nanoka, the Wandegeya Division police commander, Samuel Bamuzibire, the Kampala Metropolitan Police Field Force Unit commander and Patrick Muhumuza, the commander in charge of operations for  Kampala South.

All these officers are being charged with misconduct that tarnished the image of the police force when they beat the FDC strongman’s supporters two weeks ago.

Muhumuza, Bamuzibire, Kaggwa have not been allocated new positions according to the new changes pending “disciplinary proceedings.”

The Kampala Central Police Station DPC Aron Baguma has not survived the knife after being replaced with Joseph Bakaleke.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has slapped murder charges on Baguma together with car dealer Muhammad Ssebuwufu but the former has refused to appear in court despite criminal summons being issued by the High Court in Kampala against him.

They are accused of masterminding the murder of Donah Katushabe, a businesswoman.

According to another source, government is desperately trying to protect its image which is seen as being tainted by skirmishes like police brutality and in carrying out the new changes, Gen. Kayihura is said to be trying to save both the police and government image.

Chimpreports understands that Kayihura is under pressure from both the opposition and ruling NRM officials over the behavior of the police force which they say is wanting.

A few days ago, Parliament accused the police force of brutality. On 12 and 13 of this month, Police in Kalerwe and Najjanankumbi brutally flogged civilians who were following Besigye’s vehicle upon his release on bail by the Kampala High Court.

Testifying against the brutal police officers, the Professional Standards Unit commandant Fortunate Habyara told the police tribunal that the civilians were “defenseless and at their mercy”.

The matters were worsened when the police Chief Gen. Kale Kayihura boasted and applauded his commanders for ‘doing a good job’ to cane the supporters; adding that caning had replaced teargas and rubber bullets.

“As our new standard operating procedure, we told commanders to minimize the use of teargas and adopted the use of batons,” Kayihura told journalists at the police headquarters in Naguru.

It is understood that Kayihura was put under fire to have the officers he had earlier praised for ‘doing a great job’ investigated and charged for beating Besigye supporters.

What looked as a simple matter   however turned big when the State Minister for Internal Affairs Hon. Obiga Mario stressed that police was indeed in the wrong and should accept to be critiqued.

“It is not that the people don’t like you, they are only telling you the truth. From these criticisms the police force must come out as good. We must change the police to an institution that the people first ran to,” the Internal Affairs State Minister under which police falls, said at a function in Bwebajja.

Besigye Adds Voice

The opposition strongman also lashed at the police force for acting like criminals in the way they handle his supporters comparing its officers to the notorious Kifeesi gang yet they are supposed to protect the citizens.

“The police institution must be a different one but unfortunately the criminal elements in the police are the ones who make policy today for the force and execute it. The majority of the policemen are not happy with what is going on,” Besigye told journalists.

The Uganda Law Society president Francis Gimara condemned police for acting criminal and in violation of the constitution by brutalizing members of the public.



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