Uganda Police fails to implement IGP Ochola’s orders

Uganda Police fails to implement IGP Ochola's orders
Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Uganda Police Force, Martin Okoth Ochola

Uganda Police Force has failed enforce three directives issued by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Martin Okoth Ochola during his first 100 days in office. The three orders are the only administrative orders Ochola has issued since he assumed office.

The other actions have been transfers and appointments, closure of Nalufenya detention facility and reorganization of specialized police units.

The none administrative directives issued include a ban on the sale or photocopying police forms, arrest of people found wearing or in possession of camouflage attires and arrest of motorists, drivers and passengers wearing hoods.

The first directive issued through the Director Operations, Asuman Mugyenyi was for police officers across the country to confiscate camouflage attire similar to those used by armed forces and arrest those found wearing them.

Ochola issued the order on April 11, 2018. He however, left the District Security Committees, which comprises of the District Internal Security Officer, District Police Commander, Resident District Commissioner, District Chairperson and the Chief Accounting Officer to decide how to go about implementing the directive.

Five months later, no police officer has even attempted to implement the order. A reliable source in the Directorate of Operations, says the order was confusing since it did not have an implementation strategy, which is the reason most commanders have failed to implement it.

“Most Security Committees didn’t bother to discuss the directive and without a way for implementing it, there was nothing police officers could do about it,” the source told this publication on condition of anonymity. The second order was a ban on the sale of Police forms to clients at different Police stations.

In a statement issued on May 7th 2018, Ochola said the decision to ask clients to photocopy the forms was irregular and must stop immediately.

He directed the Directorate of Engineering and Logistics to ensure that all police stations get adequate stationary for use. However, almost five months later, detectives continue to ask people to photocopy bond papers and all other Police forms in disregard of the directive from the IGP.

At Central Police Station (CPS) Kampala, the canteen still sells photocopied forms as well as room 24 where Secretaries sit has a photocopier, which sells the forms.

At Kira Road police station, the photocopier business has moved behind the station, far away from the prying eyes of those passing on the road to Bukoto while at Old Kampala Police Station, clients are now buying the forms across the road.

Police spokesperson, Emilian Kayima, says implementing these directives has been impossible due to the absence of a printery.

The most recently issued order is that of apprehending and prosecuting riders of motorcycles and drivers of motor vehicles as well as their passengers.

The directive also signed by Mugyenyi on July 28th 2018 was meant to help the implementation of the Presidential Directive against wearing hoods, which was issued immediately after the murder of Arua Municipality MP, Ibrahim Abiriga.

Our reporter entered CPS three days ago wearing a hood and even entered the station up to the second floor but no police officer stopped her or even asked any questions.

One of the police commanders in Kampala told this publication on condition of anonymity that it was unprofessional for the Director Operations to order arrest of people wearing hoods without any legal backing.

“How do you tell someone to arrest and prosecute? What charges will you even prefer against the person you have arrested? When I saw the order I just laughed and ignored it,” the police commander said.

Fred Egesa, a former police officer and security expert, says the three orders were issued without prior research and understanding of the outcomes.

“There should be a provision; participation of all stakeholders, there should be sensitization and a research on how it will be implemented and also the outcomes of each order. You don’t just wake up and issue an order,” Egesa said.

URN