Fear Grips Police Officers Over 'CMI Arrests'

3392 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
On Monday, three days after the officers appeared at the Court Martial, officers at the police headquarters could barely speak and the corridors were empty, unlike it has been in the past when people could be seen chatting away.

The arrest of senior police officers appears to have created an atmosphere of suspicion within the force, URN understands.
 
Six policemen, including two senior officers, were among nine people charged on Friday for kidnap and illegal possession of firearms before the General Court Martial based in Makindye, Kampala.

This followed arrests conducted by operatives from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).
 
The officers include Senior Commissioner of Police Joel Aguma, Commandant of Police Professional Standard Unit and Senior Superintendent of Police Nixon Agasirwe, a former commander of Police Special Operations. Others are Sgt Abel Tumukunde who works under the Flying Squad, Assistant Superintendent of Police James Magada under Crime Intelligence, Benon Twebembeire, an Intelligence officer and Faisal Katende, also working under the Flying Squad. Also charged were former Rwandan Military personnel Rene Rutagungira, and Congolese nationals Bahati Mugenga and Amon Kwarisiima.
 
They were remanded to Luzira Prisons.
 
On Monday, three days after the officers appeared at the Court Martial, officers at the police headquarters could barely speak and the corridors were empty, unlike it has been in the past when people could be seen chatting away.
 
Two people who URN engaged, declined to speak on the current situation in the security circles.
 
"You want me to be arrested by CMI," said one of the sources begging that his name should not be mentioned.
 
Outside the headquarters, a senior officer accepted to talk anonymously in the parking, but on condition that both the officer and the journalist switch off their phones, first.
 
"These people can be listening to us even if we are not talking on the phone as long as it's open. Things are not easy; we all don't understand what is happening. We don't know who they will come for next," the senior officer said.
 
He added, "Even our boss can't help us. We have been left to the mercy of the merciless."
 
At the Kampala Metropolitan Police which is located at Central Police Station (CPS) Kampala, some officers could be heard making phone calls to inquire from their colleagues for updates of the situation.
 
"If they can pick our bosses like chicken thieves, imagine what they will do to us, " said one junior officer standing in a group outside CPS.
 
The panic is also visible on the WhatsApp groups of different Police intakes and departments.
Out of the five groups which URN sampled, only one was found active with officers debating various issues outside the security circles. The other four were found to have been dormant for the last four to five days despite being very active in the days before the arrests.
 
Police spokesperson Asan Kasingye, however, says there is no reason to be afraid or worried since as public officers they are supposed to be accountable for all actions.
 
//Cue in: "That the work....
Cue out....don't get worried."//

 

About the author

Dear Jeanne
Dear Jeanne is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Jeanne has been a URN staff member since 2014.

Jeanne started out as a political and crime reporter for NBS television in 2010. She went on to become a news director at the station before leaving in 2012 to join The Daily Monitor as an investigative reporter in 2012.

Jeanne is ambitious to improve her investigative reporting skills. Jeanne’s focus for much of her five year career has been to report on crime and security.