Kayihura: Political Parties Not Excited by Changes

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In short
Political parties in Uganda say there is no good news in the replacement of General Kale Kayihura as Inspector General of Police.

Political parties in Uganda say there is no good news in the replacement of General Kale Kayihura as Inspector General of Police.
 
On Sunday, President Yoweri Museveni relieved General Kayihura of his duties as the Inspector General of Police after serving for more than 12 years. In his place, Museveni appointed Kayihura's deputy Okoth Ochola. He also appointed Military Police commander, Brig Sabiiti Mzeei as Deputy Inspector General of Police. In the same announcement, Museveni dropped Security Minister Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde and appointed Gen. Elly Tumwine as his replacement.
 
Police and criminal gangs
 
Democratic Party (DP) spokesperson Kenneth Paul Kakande says the new police leadership should disentangle the institution from the criminal gangs, a relationship that flourished during Kayihura's tenure.
 
Kakande says DP believes an investigation should be set up to probe the extent of criminal gangs' infiltration of the police and the damage they caused to the institution.
 
"The police and the criminal gangs should be disentangled immediately, and an investigation set up to determine the extent that criminal gangs got involved in the work of the police and what damage they have done to the country and to other people," Kakande said.
 
The recent murder of women in and around Entebbe Municipality, Kakande says, could be the work of criminal gangs who were known by people in security circles, given the fact that no one was arrested.
 
"Everyone who kills women dump bodies in Kajjansi. Who are these people? How come they have not been arrested and arraigned in court? What is their intention? All these things must be investigated," Kakande says.
 
He further says the police should be taken back to its constitutional role of keeping law and order as well as protecting people and their property. Whereas change has come, Kakande says there is need for the new leadership to show substance of what will be done.
 
Kakande says Democratic Party does not believe in appointment of military officers to lead the police. These people, he says get different training and orientation from police officers.
 
"We strongly believe that people brought in police should those with orientation of keeping law and order," he said.
 
Kakande says Kayihura used a government organ that is supposed to be impartial to execute National Resistance Movement (NRM) work. The incoming leadership, he says should learn from Kayihura's mistakes and turn the police into a better institution. He says Kayihura should be credited for taking police closer to the public though it was tainted when police got entangled into politics.
 
No fundamental change
 
 "It's a mere change of guards," JEEMA President Asumani Basalirwa says, arguing that there is no fundamental change because police problems are structural. Basalirwa argues problems of police are historical and structural dating back from colonial era. The colonialists, he says created a police institution meant to buttress their stay in power which was adopted by post-colonial governments.
 
"From colonial government up to now, we have had a regime police, a police whose primary role is not to preserve law and order but preserve the government in power," Basalirwa says.
 
The changes in police leadership, Basalirwa argues are not meant to respond to the security challenges bedeviling Uganda but to prop up Museveni's grip on power.
 
He says Kayihura tried to make police visible everywhere including media. "You will find everything big or small about police being publicised in media…when a crime is committed, you would find Kayihura there not because police is working but showing sympathy," Basalirwa argues.
 
No Excitement
 
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President, Engineer Patrick Oboi Amuriat, says the party is not excited by the change of police top leadership because the appointing authority is the same
 
"We are not excited about the security reshuffle since appointing authority is still the same. And we believe Gen. Tumwine is old for leadership in this generation," Amuriat said.
 
Since the 2016 presidential election, FDC has been arguing that they won election but were rigged out by the incumbent, NRM under stewardship of Museveni.
 

 

About the author

Blanshe Musinguzi
Musinguzi Blanshe is a politics-cum-business journalist. He joined Uganda Radio Network in February 2017. Previously, he worked at Daily Monitor and Red Pepper Publications Limited. He is keenly interested in data journalism.