Yesterday most of us were in great shock after finding out via the Observer that our friend Omondi Micheal had been arrested at Nalufenya for close to 2 months without trial in court. Its alleged that Omondi was arrested in connection with the death of AIGP Felix Kaweesi,his bodyguard and driver on the 17th-march-2017. Omondi was arrested at the start of April in Busia for allegedly trying to sneak out Kaweesi’s murder suspects through a car and later detained at Nalufenya.
Efforts by the family and lawyers to get in touch were futile because his case was regarded as a national security.
Micheal Omondi- Student at Makerere University.
Omondi’s case is just an isolated case from the many victims that have suffered under the brutuality of Uganda Police. Many suspects have been tortured from Nalufenya although Police has continued to deny such allegations. In fact, most Ugandans now view the Police as a torture squad not a trained Police. There i decided to trace what could be the roots causes of Police brutuality, oppression, illegality, corruption among others. I will build from the president’s statement who quoted, “The Police has been infiltrated by criminals, Kale(IGP), u must clean it up”.
Question!, Is IGP the right person to clean up the Police?
Parliament about two weeks ago approved a three-year contract term for IGP who has been at the helm for the last 12 years but here are the facts why Kayihura has been the chief promotor of criminality in Police.
1. Militarising the Police. With a military background, Kayihura transformed Police training to military training. Solidiers are trained in such away that after their training, they are kept away from people or rehabilitated before being in public. However Police now receive similar training but same police is made to interact with the public. This explains why young police officers and old police officers use different approaches in handling public issues. The young officers are more hostile because they have a militarised mind while the old police officers are more civic. Sometimes its diffucult to separate the works of young police officers and the amry because they use a similar approach of force. This has greatly undermined the objective of Police to serve the nation as a people’s police.
2. The selective recruitment of Police Officers. Today if u are not wel connected in Police, you should never even think of joining the forces. Police recruitment is no longer holistic as it used to be before Kayihura’s appointment. Its based on tribes, regions, politics, corruption among others. This means that those with the passion and the qualifications to join police are left out at the expense of the well-connected but non-qualifying candidates. In fact, if u look at cadet officers, 80% come from one region and you wonder. Such a gap is increasing criminality because its creating a chain which is meant to protect the interests of certain individuals.
3. Poor top exemplary leadership. Kayihura has been a very poor example to both the public and the police. For example, he has on several times avoided meeting with the parliamentary committees plus his defiance towards the law. Imagine a whole IGP organising gangs to protest on court premises just because he was supposed to appear in court. Such an act means that Kayihura does not respect the law. No wonder his surbodinates such as former Kampala DPC Aron Baguma at one time also defied court orders.
4. The introduction of the informal police which works parallel to the formation police establishment for example the formation of Crime preventers, Police Flying Squads etc. These work and are supported by Police financiallt but their activities are mostly parallel to those of the police. This is why you will find it common for the Police spokesperson to give contradictory statements about public issues because they is lack of coordination because the formal police and informal police. For example, its alleged that the Flying squad is the one that tortured the Kamwenge mayor not the police. Why not streamline and harmony all these forces for proper coordination? Politics!
5. Promoting inequality in police in regards to income and appointments. Most senior serving officers have been greatly undermined by the system at the expense of those well connected. Take an example of these crime preventors. I know of crime preventors without any police training but u have successfully penetrated the police and within 2 years, they are billionaires. I also know of Police commissioners who have served for over 25 years but still renting, not that they are extravaget but because they are undermined by the system. Such inequality demotivates police staff, makes them lose passion for their jobs thus becoming hostile to the public and engaging in crimes.
6. Lastly but not least, Kayihura’s involvement in politics has been his major reason why he hasnt served to the expectations of Ugandans. Kayihura is a regme-broker and only concerned about the survival of the regime. Thats why he supported the project of crime preventors who formed a big base for M7’s votes and later abandoned them after elections. His involvement in politics has seen him becoming intolerant to other opposition political parties, suppressing their freedoms and brutualising them. He only receives orders from above without question and promotes the interests of the regime.
In conculsion, yes police has been inflitrated by criminals as the president says but the president must partly take the blame for his increasing trust in the IGP and if the police cleaned out, Kayihura must step aside and give chance to reforms.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY