According to police sources, Baroza has also been giving orders to senior commanders and police directors since he was elevated from the rank of Superintendent of Police to Assistant Commissioner of Police in January 2016.
Jonathan Baroza, the Personal Assistant to the Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura is under the spotlight for allegedly overstepping his mandate. Baroza has been the Personal Assistant for the IGP for the last four years. As a Personal Assistant to the IGP, Baroza is mandated to run errands for Kayihura.
However, it is emerging that Baroza has been in charge of all operations involving Dr. Kiiza Besigye, the former Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party presidential candidate, which should have ideally fallen in the docket of the Director Operations and the Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) Commander together with the line Station and Regional commanders.
According to police sources, Baroza has also been giving orders to senior commanders and police directors since he was elevated from the rank of Superintendent of Police to Assistant Commissioner of Police in January 2016. Three Police Directors, several Regional and District Commander who talked to URN on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter expressed concern on how Baroza has been interfering with their operations.
One of the directors said, despite the fact that Baroza doesn't have any officers directly under him; he is better facilitated compared to Districts/Divisions and regions where the operations take place. "Baroza has become a stress factor in running operations. He is given more resources than the stations and regions and yet they are the ones who do the donkey work. He has excess fuel at his disposal while we have to pick fuel for daily operations when there is a special operation," the director said.
The Police Spokesperson and Director Human Resource Development (HRD), Andrew Felix Kaweesi who was also once a Personal Assistant to Kayihura, says the work of Baroza is to help the IGP. "The Inspector General of Police can sometimes send his assistant to supervise an operation on his behalf. His work then is to see what is taking place and report back on what has transpired," Kaweesi said.
He argues that some of the commanders complaining about Baroza have personal grudges with him. "I have also heard about the complaints but I don't think they are true. You know when you are a Personal Assistant to the IGP sometimes he can send you to see the deployments and report back. When the report comes back negative, the commanders tend to blame the PA," he said.
Baroza is also blamed by police commanders for disrupting operations, stirring chaos and abandoning the commanders in trouble when things go wrong. He was named in police brutal attack on the supporters of Dr. Kiiza Besigye at Kalerwe and Najjanankumbi on 13th and 14th July 2016 respectively
. Samuel Bamuzibire, the former Operations Commander Kampala Metropolitan Police who was suspended over the same operation
, told the Police disciplinary Court they acted on the orders of Baroza.
"Do you know the orders we were given by Baroza? We were moving with other commandants including Baroza from Nakawa. Why then am I being blamed for what happened?" he asked Fortune Habyara, the commandant Professional Standards Unit (PSU) who was testifying against him and other commandants accused of irregular conduct. Baroza also re-introduced the use of civilian stick welding person in the Anti-Besigye operations this year.
In May and June, Baroza's vehicle was seen ferrying sticks that were later distributed to plain clothed men. A few weeks later, the media identified the stick wielding men as crime preventers and police officers. Baroza's role in this covet operations was also made public. On July 13th, 2016, Baroza wrote a letter to all District Police Commanders and Regional Commanders copying in Kayihura, the Deputy Police chief Okoth Ochola and some directors warning against use of the Kiboko squad in Overt operation.
"This is therefore to warn all commanders to desist from actively using them in our overt operation." Reads the letter in part. Kaweesi says, "The communication was a grave mistake, he should have written that the IGP has warned or observed but not that he himself was warning." Baroza declined to comment on the accusations leveled against him despite several attempts by URN to speak to him.
Baroza is not the first aide around Kayihura being accused of overstepping his mandate. In 2013, Police declined to renew the contract of Ambrose Murunga, the then Technical Advisor to Kayihura when he was implicated in several controversies. Murunga who had served as a constable in the Kenya Police before he was hired as a Technical Advisor to Kayihura, wielded a lot of influence in the Uganda Police Force such as determining who would be deployed where including directors of police.
Murunga told URN in an interview that his job as Technical Advisor to the IGP involved training and quality control. But during his nine years of service, Murunga was a common sight around major police operations such as walk to work protests in 2011 and part of 2012. He is also believed to have directed some of the operations like the one on April 24, 2011, where Dr. Besigye was brutally arrested at Mulago roundabout.