- Replacing questionable characters with professional Cops has sent the latter into hopelessness. The thugs and lately prostitutes are well facilitated than the Cops, many of whom are even under-deployed.
- A Bajaj motorcycle currently costs Shs4M, making it Shs6Bn gone to unaccounted for bikes that are now being commercially used as Boda-bodas by the holders.
- Since he came at the helm of the Police Force, Gen. Kayihura has been fighting one security calamity after another. His has always been reactive and not proactive approach, save for the implementation of Public Order Management where it requires no scientific and brainy measures
- Notably, Gen. Kayihura’s era has been accused by justly incensed dwellers of manufacturing crimes to attract operational funds.
Opinion: On the evening of May 8th 2017, I bowed to the pressure of meeting the Uganda Police boss Gen. Kale Kayihura over the life-threatening status he had invited to my person. He summarily joked about my protruding belly, saying that I am becoming naughty with exercise conducts. As usual, to those in the know of the man, he wondered how I, a friend, had gotten lost for such a long time!
“Why do you say I killed Kaweesi?” he started. “I have never said such General,”…“But everyone picks it from you…” he carved in. “General,” I interrupted, “maybe they read between lines but I have never accused you of such.” Speaking about his achievements on some cases, he included that of Wilberforce Noah Wamala’s callous murder which he rightly believe, we, at the Investigator, have interest. “But you have assigned another I.O, Monday, to intentionally mess it up!” I cut in. At this point, he remembered his presentation before Parliament, for his term renewal the following day.
“As you know, I am facing Parliament tomorrow. I want us to have enough time and talk about where things went wrong.” Rising to leave, I replied; “You went wrong in almost everything General. But it’s okay, when you get time,” I retorted, praying against prayer he doesn’t get the time… for like I have insisted before, he can’t be the man to clean the awful mess he himself created, or so, I strongly believe.
“Where things went wrong?” – The story:
When you see a man whose running budget is Shs546Bn (triple some of ministries’), with a 46000 personnel unit and asking ‘where things went wrong,’ one is excused to believe everything went wrong. Today, the General and some of his lieutenants are all over the masses, preaching the gospel of a new miraculous ‘Mayumba Kkumi’ system! We shall get back to that…
A musician-cum-politician, Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine once sung thus; ‘Man made money but money made man mad.’ When he came at the helm of police ten years ago, the Force’s budget was Shs75Bn and by 2014, it had risen to 303Bn, thanks for the accumulative operations caused by duplication of duties. The police budget has always risen to hit Shs546Bn this Financial Year.
For starters, in 2006, the good General came up with Usalaama, a civilian wing to fight crime. These were mostly youths who would be trained at District levels with the supervision of Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and local governments’ administrators. He later took full charge and led it to its grave, even when its inception had come with a budget rise.
The Usalaama system was succeeded by crime preventers around 2008, all of whose members were village mates in their respective areas of residences. This system was later hijacked by University students and rebranded it to National Crime Preventers Forum, whose administration has since, greatly swindled billions of money, causing more harm than good to Ugandans’ security all over the country… (This is an interesting story for another day).
Around 2013, Gen. Kayihura launched yet another system named Security Committees. This structure too, was from village level and the membership had opinion leaders on board, irrespective of their political affiliation. A parallel structure from the L.C system, Security Committees were to help police with information and advisory discourses. The system crumbled when, anti-NRM members were sidelined and the hitherto crime prevention-based system became a political broker before its timely demise.
Ahead of 2016 presidential elections, he resorted back to the money-glutton Crime Preventers (CPs) whose shrewd members came up with a nationwide strategy of curbing crimes before, during and after elections. The good general sunk deep into police coffers to buy over 1500 motorcycles. These private numbered bikes were distributed at every Sub county in the country, manned by the CPs’ coordinator at those levels.
A Bajaj motorcycle currently costs Shs4M, making it Shs6Bn gone to unaccounted for bikes that are now being commercially used as Boda-bodas by the holders. Behind all the mentioned try-and-err grappling is a staggering budget.
But the crimes have kept jumping on the heels of another, too many and overwhelming for the police boss to even produce an Annual Crime Report (ACR) for two consecutive years now! That most of the previous years’ ACRs have always been subjected to alteration before presentation is a strong allegation subject to keen verification.
All the above failed systems were made but in presence of the formal Community Policing. The latter system, I am told, was introduced by then ASP Asan Kasingye in August 1994 ten years into service then. For this, he was recommended for a Community Policing and Crime Prevention course at the Home Office for Crime Prevention at Stanford in 1995.
Community Policing and Crime Prevention is basically meant to be manned by the ages’ existed professional Community Liaison Officers with the help of community opinion leaders and, hand in hand with affirmed well-disciplined civilian ‘detectives.’
The latter system, if well facilitated, professionally manned and with accountable officers, would do hundred times better than the former combined. However, Gen. Kayihura’s approach is to put civilians atop schooled, trained, ranked, but meagerly facilitated and resigned officers, of course to their utter irritation and obvious humiliation, all visited on them by their boss.
Since he came at the helm of the Police Force, Gen. Kayihura has been fighting one security calamity after another. His has always been reactive and not proactive approach, save for the implementation of Public Order Management where it requires no scientific and brainy measures to stop Dr. Besigye and ilk from moving about, of course at exorbitant operational budget supplements.
Notably, Gen. Kayihura’s era has been accused by justly incensed dwellers of manufacturing crimes to attract operational funds. This is an accusation I wouldn’t love to submit to but the Genera’s pranks at times tempts one to give the claim a second thought. From school fires to current women murders, each comes with a new system followed by a vast budget. And the latest is…
Fare thee well Mayumba Kkumi!
For starters, Mayumba Kkumi (standing for ten homesteads’ neighborhood watch) is the oldest system that great grandfathers used to curb crimes and observe cultural values, among other issues of public importance. It is therefore wrong for today’s police to claim it as their initiative. It is rather another bait for operational funds’ supplement, or an excuse for the General to dive deeper into his ever bulging coffers.
Just like the former systems, I wish to opine, Mayumba Kkumi died on its inception. Sadly, the police want to base its implementation on the physical count of ten homesteads in a country where, especially in urban areas, there zoned areas for self-claimed criminals, known and protected by police. I would want to give examples below.
In Kawempe Division, we have places like Bwaise 1 in Kimombaasa, the headquarters of prostitutes, rogues, muggers, conmen, and rapists, name any. This corridor stretches to Wandegeya, in particular Kivvulu, the den of kanaabes and all tribes of criminals’ who, during afternoon and evening hours pretend to sell varieties of cheap basic goods in the traffic jam as they zoom to identify and at times follow up on potential victims to their residents for impending attacks.
Then we go to the semi-urban Matugga-Kawanda old road through Birombe area, u-turning to Kaleerwe opposite the market, stretching to Rubaga division in places like Katwe, Old Kampala, Lungujja, Lusaze, Kabaka’s lake, stretching to Mutundwe through Ndeeba in Muzaana zone. The muggers around Queens’s way near fire brigade all reside in these black residential spots.
In the above mentioned and many other places around the country, one can count more than ten neighboring homesteads of conmen, buglers, rapists, muggers. And these are the people the General want to come together and surveil on themselves. Interestingly they are the very people the police boss has embraced and entrusted with police work! Many are incidents where Cops salute known criminals in fear for their jobs, since it’s easier for the latter to access and give area strep to the General than the former.
Replacing questionable characters with professional Cops has sent the latter into hopelessness. The thugs and lately prostitutes are well facilitated than the Cops, many of whom are even under-deployed. Arua Park, Nebbi Park, Mini-price, Baganda Bus Park, old Taxi Park, new Taxi Park, Blue Room, Kisenyi Bus terminal, Kisenyi Muzaana, Owino, ShopRite, Kafumbe Mukasa Rd, and Usafi Market to mention but a few, all have Police Posts positioned in less than 60 metres from each other. And crime rates in the same areas are overwhelmingly high! Why?
Most of the above posts and others are manned by Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs). Cops of this rank are meant to command a Company, which is 120 cops plus. But alas! They are each commanding only six or less policemen/women who are overly sidelined by the top management’s policy of using the well facilitated rogues and misinformation peddlers.
On a higher level, we see deployment of officers of higher ranks in lower positions and vice versa, causing a dilemma in discipline and unhealthy competition. Take one examples of Deputy Commander of Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) who is an SSP and whom, the Regional Police Commander KMP South, ACP Siraje Bakaleke has to salute and report to. By rank and standards, the KMP Assistant should be an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP). In several Districts and Regions, ASPs are serving as Regional Police Commanders with Superintendent of Police (SP) under them as DPCs!
Recently I, with great dismay read in a mainstream Daily, of self-acclaimed criminals who were demanding that the top police boss makes well his promise of meeting them for facilitation and formalization of their planned ‘crime-prevention’ activities! Oh my foot! He started the drive in Nansana where he donated Shs500, 000 to each prostitutes and slightly less the amount to each of the area’s celebrated criminals.
With the already crime infiltrated force and with imminent demise of Mayumba Kkumi, I am tempted to believe that the police boss could be heavily pregnant with the idea of establishing Uganda Self-Confessed Criminals Association’ whose launch I will be glad to cover. Till then, stay blessed and strong