New police shuffles raise dust

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Martins Okoth-Ochola. PHOTO/HANDOUT 

What you need to know:

  • The key changes, which are in the logistics department, include replacing fleets management director Joseph Mugisha.

The decision by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Martins Okoth-Ochola, to transfer four senior officers in the Force’s logistics department has raised eyebrows, amid concerns that he could have flouted the existing laws. 

Senior Commissioner of Police (SCP) James Apora has been posted at Fire Prevention and Rescue Services as the acting director, replacing Mr Joseph Mugisa whose contract expired. 
SCP Apora has been the head of the police fleet management.
Commissioner Franklin Kugonza has been moved from the Directorate of Logistics and Engineering to deputy director in charge of the Police Fleet Management.
Ms Irene Emeri has been appointed acting deputy director-in-charge of logistics.

However, some of the officers who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity said the reshuffle is unlawful since under the police laws, such a position cannot be held by an officer at a low rank.
Mr Apora is at the rank of Senior Commissioner of Police while Mr Mugisa is at the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP).
The sources also said the changes have come at a time when Mr Mugisa is waiting for a contract extension in the same position. 
The Police Act stipulates that directors of department shall be held by officers at the rank of AIGP and deputised by their juniors at the rank of SCP. 
“Even the whole appointment, which is being disguised as promotions, did not follow the law and it is being done quietly. We want to know what is behind this hide and seek game,” a source said. 

What law says
Section 14 (1&2) of the Police Act on procedure of promotions and appointment indicates: “(1) The police council shall establish the procedure and form of application to be adopted in the appointment of police officers of or below the rank of inspector of police. (2) The police authority shall establish the procedure and form of application to be adopted in the appointment of senior police officers to the force.” 
The other changes are Eng Franklin Kugonza, who was moved from logistics department to fleet management to deputise Mr Apora; Mr Kimara Ameri from quarter master to acting deputy director-in-charge of logistics, while Masitula Tugonza will move to quartermaster from stores. 

Police respond
Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, confirmed the appointments last evening.
However, he indicated that whoever is aggrieved is free to appeal to the authorities. 
“These are internal arrangements, which should be kept here. You remember I told you some time back that the minister (Internal Affairs) communicated that we should stop publishing lists of new appointments, which is why we didn’t publish this one. Whoever is aggrieved should petition the appointments committee,” Mr Enanga said. 
The sources also said it is not clear what the fate of the promoted officials will be if President Museveni renews the contract of Mr Mugisha. 
But Mr Enanga insisted that, “those aggrieved must appeal to the higher authorities and their matter will be handled, not running to the media.”