The construct of the contemporary State revolves around the police as the central agency embodying State authority. A police officer is the only public servant whose employee Identity Card (ID) is an instrument of authority capable of causing an arrest 24 hours a day.
A police officer’s employee ID is actually called a Warrant Card. In short, a police officer’s employee ID is a Warrant of Arrest. This power is so much that one requires a lot of discipline to manage it.
So, when the police are in a crisis, the State is by consequence in a crisis too. And we all know, the Head of State is the appointing authority for the top leadership of the Uganda Police Force. Need I to say it in Lhukonzo for better uptake…?
The kidnappers and murderers of Susan Magara are said to have used unregistered mobile phone numbers. And the public is outraged over UCC’s failure to manage the compulsory registration of all phone users.
But that does not take away the police’s responsibility to prevent, and fight crime. The fact is the police could have still tracked the numbers (registered or otherwise).
The police crisis is even made worse by the police leadership’s open rivalry with the leadership of other security agencies. Plus the police leadership seems to have lost ear-time from Mr Museveni.
The mainstay of the Uganda Police Force under the leadership of IGP Gen Kale Kayihura, has been to manage Dr Kizza Besigye’s political leadership and activism.
In the absence of Dr Besigye’s political activism, Gen Kayihura’s police leadership was exposed as lacking in operation, administration and command and control.
To the best of my knowledge, his contract was not supposed to be renewed (and you can trust my source on this). But the forces that were rooting for the non-renewal of Gen Kayihura’s contract were not clean either. Plus: Gen Kayihura had projected himself as the only man who could handle Dr Besigye.
With that reasoning, Gen Kayihura’s contract was renewed. However, even with the contract renewal, it was clear Gen Kayihura had lost the confidence of the people who really matter. And there is no bad situation as a general in whom one’s superiors no longer have trust and confidence.
As recent as the last two quarters of last year, the police leadership was so down that only Museveni’s Project ‘Minus102B/75’ could make them relevant. Right now, the only man who can resurrect the usefulness of the police leadership is Dr Besgye. If Dr Besigye called for protests, I have a feeling Museveni would be tempted to call in the UPDF to manage the protests. But this would scandalise the population.
The reasoning is that because Museveni’s political games have taken the police down, he (Museveni) would not throw another security agency into an open confrontation with the population. So, as a fake analyst, my reading is that Museveni would still deploy the Uganda Police Force to handle Dr Besigye’s protests.
And why should Gen Kayihura hire me? Well, because I am the only person who can cause the kavuyo that would bring back Dr Besigye’s street protests.
For my CV on these kavuyo matters, here is a small anecdote. In 2001 or thereabouts, the Tanzanian Embassy in Kigali (protesting something or other) shifted from Telecom House in Kacyiru to some non-descript residential place in Kimihurura behind the Ministry of Justice.
Rwandan president Paul Kagame was about to board a plane heading to Tanzania. And oh boy, nakulabira… I was one of those who ‘managed’ that confusion. For farther reference, ask KCCA’s Jennifer Musisi about my role in Operation Cobra.
Mr Bisiika is the executive editor of East African Flagpost.