What you need to know:
- On Monday, Assistant Inspector General of Police Asan Kasingye, who was the Chief Political Commissar, handed over office to his deputy after his application for extension of his contract went unanswered.
Eight police officers at the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP), who applied for renewal of their contracts six months ago, are uncertain about their future in the Force, pending President Museveni’s decision.
On Monday, Assistant Inspector General of Police Asan Kasingye, who was the Chief Political Commissar, handed over office to his deputy after his application for extension of his contract went unanswered.
Seven other directors have applied for extension of their contracts.
These include; Andrew Sorowen, the director of welfare, John Ndungutse, the police attaché to Uganda Embassy in Nairobi, Joseph Mugisa, the director of Fire Prevention and Rescue Services, Edward Ochom, the director of operations, Abbas Byakagaba, the director of Counter Terrorism, Haruna Isabirye, the police attaché to Uganda’s embassy in New York, and Erasmus Twaruhukwa, the director legal.
Mr Kasingye through his official Twitter handle confirmed that he handed over office to his deputy.
“I didn’t quit police as being reported by social media, my contract expired, I applied for extension and it is yet to be granted. So, I handed over the office to my deputy as guided by the Inspector General of Police,” he said.
Inspector General of Police Martins Okoth-Ochola wrote to Mr Kasingye to hand over office as they wait if the President would extend his contract.
Many of the directors got their contracts in 2020 while some have had three-year contracts since 2009.
According to unofficial rules that emanated from the recommendations from the Justice Julia Ssebutinde report about corruption in the Uganda Police Force in 2000, if an officer, who is 45 years old and above, is promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police, he resigns from the police and he or she is given a contract. The contract can be renewed for another three years and thereafter for two more years.
Some of the affected officers confirmed to the Daily Monitor that their contracts have expired and they are planning to hand over office.
The last senior officer to hand over office is expected to do it this June.
All the officers affected, except Mr Sorowen, who joined police in the 1970s, were in the first cadet intakes in the police after the National Resistance Movement government took over power in 1986.
Most deputy directors, who are to replace them, are officers that joined in 2001 after President Museveni ordered reforms in the police to weed out leadership that he said would rather vote for a jerrycan than him on a presidential ballot paper.
This followed Dr Kizza Besigye’s victory with a landslide at all polling stations in the police barracks in 2001.
The intense lobbying and supplication involved in renewing contracts has forced many officers, who haven’t approached retirement age, to shun the third highest rank.
A former police officer at the rank of AIGP told this newspaper that some of his colleagues, whose contracts were about to expire, would fight for opportunities to attend events where the President would greet them.
“Whenever the President was flying out of the country, my colleagues would fight to attend the event so that he would at least greet them. They thought that by the President seeing them, he would recall that they had applied for renewal of their contracts,” the former officer said.
Some AIGPs lobbied through their friends in the political class and tribesmen, the source said.
The fight to retain office by AIGPs reached a never-seen-before incident when the contract of the then Director of Engineering and Logistics Godfrey Bangirana expired.
IGP Ochola wrote to him to hand over office, but he refused. He allegedly ran to Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and obtained a letter to keep in office.
The police chief’s attempt to remove him from office failed despite turning off all financial channels and other responsibilities. But youths from the Democratic Party took Mr Bangirana to court that ruled that he had to leave office until Mr Museveni had determined whether to give him a contract or not.
However, only two AIGPs, who had handed over office, got their contracts renewed. These include Mugisa, who now returned to head the Directorate of Fire Prevention and Rescue Services, and Twaruhukwa, who returned as police director of Legal and Human Rights Services.