Three police officers known to have often participated in the brutal arrest of former Opposition leader, Dr Kizza Besigye, are among promotions in the Force announced Thursday.
President Museveni promoted 773 gazetted police officers, including five Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) and nine senior commissioners of police.
Among those promoted was Mr James Ruhweza, who was promoted from the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) to the rank of Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Andrew Kaggwa, who was promoted from Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), and Mr Arinaitwe Bwana Gilbert, who was promoted to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) to Superintendent of Police.
Mr Ruhweza rose to prominence in April 2011 during the walk-to-work protests. At the time, he was the Division Police Commander of Kira, which covers Kasangati Police Station.
That brought him into direct confrontation with Dr Besigye, who he arrested on several occasions whilst foiling walk-to-work protests.
After serving in several other stations—including Entebbe Airport—Mr Ruhweza was in the run up to last year’s general elections returned to Kampala as Regional Police Commander, overseeing the Kampala Metropolitan Police South.
Elsewhere, Mr Kaggwa is one of the nine police officers, including three officers at the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police, who were on February 1, 2017 convicted by the Police Disciplinary Court for beating up Dr Besigye’s supporters on July 13, 2016.
The chairman of the court, Senior Commissioner of Police Denis Odongpiny,—who read out the judgment—sentenced Mr Kaggwa along with another officer, Mr Patrick Muhumuza, to a reduction in rank for neglect of duty.
“Defaulter one (SSP Andrew Kaggwa) and defaulter three (ASP Patrick Muhumuza) are sentenced to reduction in rank. Defaulter one to be reduced in rank from Senior Superintendent of Police to rank of Superintendent. Defaulter three (Muhumuza) to be reduced in rank from Assistant Superintendent of Police to Inspector of Police,” he said.
It is not clear whether that reduction in rank was carried out as he was on Thursday promoted from the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), the rank at which he had been at the time of the conviction.
However, he was together with seven of his co-accused officers handed a severe reprimand for discrediting the image of the police.
Mr Bwana Arinaitwe meanwhile made headlines on April 28, 2011, when he intercepted Dr Besigye at Mulago roundabout.
The officer smashed the windscreen of Dr Besigye’s car with a pistol before dousing his eyes in pepper spray.