Kayihura and the Mess in Police Promotions

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In the promotions, Kayihuras personal assistant, Jonathan Baroza, was elevated to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, skipping two ranks in the process. To fix this, the police chief has been delegating a number of assignments to Baroza.
IGP Kale Kayihura
The recent appointment of Andrew Felix Kaweesi as Police Spokesperson has resurrected an old problem that has kept the Inspector General of Police busy since the beginning of the year.

Kaweesi, an Assistant Inspector General of Police and the Director of Human Resource Development in the Police, was on Sunday appointed to take over as spokesperson from Fred Enanga, a Commissioner of Police. 

For seven months General Kale Kayihura has been making efforts to pre-empt an investigation into irregularities in the last promotions of senior officers.

Appointment, deployment and training are the three main tools at General Kayihura's disposal to fix the ranking mess within the police command structure that forced the Inspectorate of Government to commence investigations.

In February this year, President Yoweri Museveni promoted 496 senior officers to different ranks including assistant inspector general of police, senior commissioner of police, commissioner of police, assistant commissioner of police, senior superintendent of police and superintendent of police.

Some of those promoted included Erasmus Twaruhukwa, Ahmed Wafuba Waduwa, Dr Moses Byaruhanga, Haruna Isabirye, and Lt Col Ndahura Atwooki Birakurataki who were all elevated to the rank of assistant inspector general of police—AIGP.

Almost immediately, however, the IGG Irene Mulyagonja began investigations into the promotions following a petition to her office by unidentified police officers. The investigations were mainly into the promotion of seven officers including Kayihura's Personal Assistant Jonathan Baroza and Zurah Ganyana the daughter of a senior officer Moses Balimwoyo. Other officers whose promotion was contested include Godfrey Matte, the former district police commander Kasese; Rwenzori East regional commander Denis Namuwoza, Police spy Nickson Ayegasirwe, Susan Kasingye, head of the electoral crimes police Unit and Enock Abaine.

Also on the list is Aaron Baguma, then working as DPC Central Police Station, Kampala, who is now wanted in court on murder charges.

The IGG's spokesperson Munira Ali says the investigations are still ongoing but not without some difficulty. "We began the investigations, recorded statements and they are still ongoing. I cannot go into the investigations but I can tell you it has not been that easy," Munira told URN.

While the IGG commenced investigations, General Kayihura also went to work in what appears to be a move to pre-empt the IGG's work.

Godfrey Matte's promotion was being faulted due to his deployment at the time as district police commander, Kasese. He was elevated from Superintendent of Police (SP) to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), jumping a rank, while his boss, the regional police commander (RPC) Bob Kagarura was a senior superintendent of Police (SSP).

The police ranking standards place a DPC at the rank of superintendent of police, meaning Matte was now too qualified for his deployment in Kasese and therefore under-deployed. After the investigations began, Kayihura appointed Matte as the regional police commander Kiira to help match his deployment to his current rank.

In the promotions, Kayihura's personal assistant, Jonathan Baroza, was elevated to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, skipping two ranks in the process. To fix this, the police chief has been delegating a number of assignments to Baroza. He has been overseeing all operations against the opposition leader Kizza Besigye. He was also in charge during the much-talked about July 13th and 14th 2016 operations that have seen a number of officers in the dock over brutality.

Nixon Ayegasirwe, who holds the third position at the Directorate of Crime Intelligence, has the most questionable ranks in the police structure. Police human resource records indicate that he joined the force as a special Police constable in 2002. He never underwent the mandatory nine-month police training thereafter. In the last promotions, he was parachuted from ASP to SSP jumping a rank in the process.

Kayihura has since sent Ayegasirwe for an intermediate command course at Police Senior Staff College in Bwebajja. Whether this course can cover for the lack of the mandatory 9 months police training is still unknown.

Police deputy spokesperson Polly Namaye however denies any attempts by Kayihura to pre-empt the investigations. "Every deployment and appointments that have been made in the last few months have been in line with the police Act and police standing order," she says.

It appears some of the cases are still a puzzle for General Kayihura. One such case is that of Susan Kasingye, the head of the Electoral Crimes Unit. Kasingye joined the force in 2012 and four years later she jumped the rank of Superintendent of Police in the February 2016 promotions. She is now a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP).

Zurah Ganyana was also promoted to SSP, a rank over and above her deployment as the staff officer of the Police Press Unit. After her promotion, it emerged that her department did not recommend her, making it more suspicious since she is the daughter of the Director Human Resource Management in the Police, Hajji Moses Balimwoyo.

Aaron Baguma was promoted from ASP to SP at a time when he was under investigation by the DPP for alleged involvement in the murder of city businesswoman Betty Katushabe. The police standards provide that an officer will be promoted once his performance is impressive, does not have any cases both in the police disciplinary and criminal court and his morals are unquestionable.

Enock Abaine and Denis Namuwoza also have question marks on their promotions both to the rank of ACP only four months after they had received a previous promotion.

The petitioners want the IGG to launch an inquiry into what they call a "sham exercise and also reprimand officers in the Police Directorate of Human Resources who are responsible for editing the list of who is promoted and who is not." This, they say, tantamount to corruption and abuse of office.

According to a reliable source in the Human Resource Management office at police headquarters in Naguru, the ranking mess is as a result of favoritism and bribery in the directorate. "Some of these people had their names put on the list from the IGP's office because they are favoured and share a special relationship with IGP Kayihura, but others bribed officers in this directorate to have their names included on the list after the list had been vetted and approved by the Police Accounts Committee," he says.

Former Inspector General of Police John Kisembo in an earlier interview with URN talked about officers promoted to ranks above their responsibilities. "Today I see sergeants opening doors, doing guard duties. A sergeant is a commander...Why give him a rank and then make him a doorman," said Kisembo who served as IGP between 1999 and 2001.

While departments and police stations recommend officers for promotion and the police Authority reviews the recommendations, the ultimate power of promoting an officer lies in the hands of the IGP and the Directorate of Human Resources.

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