The police have welcomed an impending inquiry by Inspectorate of Government following several complaints against the criteria used in the recent promotions in the force.
In a statement, the Police Public Relations Officer Mr Fred Enanga maintained that the promotions were as a result of a fair and transparent exercise said any investigations would clear the air.
“The police have taken note of an alleged petition filed at the office of the Inspectorate of Government by Mulamula Andrew,” he wrote.
“We do maintain that there is nothing sensational about the story, because promotions are a routine factor within the promotional policy of the institution. They were very transparent and based on; merit, demonstrated ability, leadership skills and career development among other criteria,” Mr Enanga wrote.
The police spokesman added:
“The UPF management is open to the investigations if approached by the Inspectorate of Government, and will clearly explain the process, as there is no cause for alarm”.
A petition logged to the IGG’s office following the recent promotion of 496 police officers by President Museveni, particularly questions the promotion of seven police officers including Susan Kasingye, Zurah Ganyana and Jonathan Baroza, who is IGP Kale Kayihura’s assistant. But Mr Enanga said yesterday that the most recent promotions were prompted by the necessity to have the command structure of the Police filled up, and it targeted officers in acting capacity from the station, Districts, Regions, Departments and Directorates.
“The process was in order and nothing irregular in substance or in the methodology was used,” he said.
However, according to the dossier, Ms Kasingye, who was promoted to Senior Superintendent of Police, has been in police for only four years and was made to jump the rank of Superintendent of Police, an action that calls for an explanation.
In another case, Nickson Agasirwe, who joined the police as a Special Police Constable and police informer in Mbarara in 2002, and has never done the mandatory 9-month police training, was in the latest promotions elevated to the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police, also skipping one rank.
IGP Kayihura’s assistant Baroza was made to skip two ranks and was promoted to Assistant Commissioner of Police – another promotion that calls for an explanation.
Ms Zurah Ganyana, promoted to the rank of SSP, had reportedly not been recommended from her department [Public Relations dept]. Ms Ganyana is a daughter to the Police Director of Administration Hajji Moses Balimwoyo.
In another case that the petitioners say calls for explanation, Aaron Baguma, the Central Police Station Commander, who has been indicted by the Directorate of public Prosecutions on murder charges was promoted to the rank of Superintendent despite his current predicament.
Police last month refused to produce Mr Baguma before Buganda Road magistrates court to be charged with murder, but the DPP Mr Mike Chibita told this newspaper last week that the beleaguered police commander will be charged with murder because “he is not above the law”.
The dossier also indicates that Mr Enock Abaine and Mr Dennis Namuwoza, were both promoted to the rank of ACP, four months after they had received a previous promotion, unannounced through the police radio messaging service.
“… in what has shocked everybody, SP Matte (who is DPC Kasese) was made to jump two ranks and is even higher in rank than his regional police commander,” the dossier to the IGG reads. Mr Godfrey Matte, who is now an assistant commissioner of police is higher in rank than Rwenzori East Regional Police Commander SSP Ben Kagarura.
“It is no longer useful to be hard working and to be recommended by your directorate, what is important is to have a godfather at police headquarters,” the dossier reads.
The IGG Ms Irene Mulyagonja said her office had received the petition. “We will discuss it, and determine whether or not to move forward with the investigations,” she told this newspaper.
During decoration ceremony of the newly promoted police officers on Friday, Gen. Kayihura admitted he had received complaints after several Police officers shunned the ceremony saying the promotions were a sham based on bribery, tribalism and favouritism.
Gen Kayihura however distanced himself from any culpability, saying the promotions committee is headed by his deputy, Martins Okoth-Ochola, whom he tasked to investigate the claims of tribalism and recommend officers who were unfairly left out.
“Let us solve this problem,” Gen Kayihura ordered his deputy and the police human resource development officers.
In the latest dossier to the IGG, it is indicated that all officers recommended for promotion to the Directorate of Administration and Human Resource, as per police procedure, were left out.
According to the dossier, the Traffic Directorate had recommended more than 20 officers, the Forensics Directorate had recommended more than 10 officers, and Criminal Investigations Directorate had also recommended more than 10 officers but only one officer was promoted while the directorate of Interpol had recommended 10 officers for promotion but none was promoted.
All names recommended from the Band department were also sidestepped.
Apparently, the former Internal Affairs minister Gen Aronda Nyakayirima had forbidden the moving up of officers more than two ranks on the logical grounds that if they fail to perform in their new assignments they cannot be demoted.
Gen Aronda passed away last year from reported acute heart failure and was replaced by the Bukedea Woman MP Rose Akol.
Daily Monitor understands that it had also been agreed that officers who were promoted last year during police centenary celebration would not get promoted this time around to give chance to others in acting capacities given their level of experience of professional career growth to go up the ladder. The recent promotion however was otherwise.
Other promotions that have caused jitters include Lt. Col Ndahura Atwooki Birakurataki to Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP). For one to be an AIGP, one must be head of a given directorate. Lt Col Ndahura, much as he heads of the Directorate of Crime Intelligence, is a serving military officer and his recent appointment is equivalent to a Major General in the army.
The other cases are that of Charles Asaba and Fortunate Habyara. Asaba was promoted to the rank of Senior Commissioner of Police (SCP) yet for one to be at this rank, they are supposed to be in the position of a deputy director. SCP Asaba does not hold any such portfolio. SP Fortunate Habyara was promoted to the rank of commissioner skipping two ranks and is now two ranks higher than his boss in the Professional Standards Unit (PSU).