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Museveni dragged to court over recent reshuffles

by Odongo Christopher

President Museveni has been dragged to the Civil Division of the High Court for appointing UPDF officers to the police force as directors.

Museveni in July appointed and seconded four senior UPDF to the police force as directors to replace old guards who were given other assignments.

In a petition filed on Monday morning, lawyer Male Mabirizi says as a civically active Ugandan who has been closely following the constitution, human rights, and rule of law trends in Uganda and that it is wrong for the President to appoint UPDF officers in the police force.

“The President of the Republic of Uganda neither has powers to appoint Uganda People’s Defence Forces officers and men as Uganda Police Officers nor assign Uganda Police Force ranks to such officers,” Mabirizi says.

He argues that for anyone to join the police force, they must undergo training before being enlisted as a Police officer and can, therefore, be promoted from the lowest to the highest ranks in the force.

In his petition, the lawyer wants court to issue an order quashing the appointment of UPDF soldiers to the Police force and that the recently appointed army officers are in the police force illegally.

“The court should issue an order prohibiting the appointed UPDF officers from holding out as having a police rank of the Assistant Inspector General of Police and their positions should be declared vacant.”

Appointments

President Museveni on July 2, 2019 appointed Col. Jesse Kamunanwire as the Police Director in charge of Human Resource and Administration to replace AIGP Moses Balimwoyo whereas Brig. Godfrey Golooba replaced AIGP Haruna Isabirye as the police director in charge of Human Resource and Development.

Col. Ddamulira Sserunjogi who had been serving as the deputy director in charge of counter-terrorism in the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), the intelligence wing of the Ugandan army was appointed as the Police director in charge of Crime Intelligence.

The changes by Museveni also saw Brig. Jack Bakasumba who had been serving as the commander Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Ssingo, Nakaseke district sent to police as the chief of joint staff.

A number of people have always argued that deploying army officers into the Police force is meant to militarise the latter.

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