Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Officers deployed at the Kireka-based Special Investigations Unit/Division (SIU/D) have started packing their bags to relocate to the Criminal Investigations Directorate -CID headquarters in Kibuli on the directive by the Inspector General of Police, Martin Ochola.
According to information obtained by our reporter, Ochola directed the officers to relocate about a fortnight ago on grounds that SID had become a lawless center where people could be detained for days without any explanation thereby tainting the police image. Ochola reportedly expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that people were being abducted each day prompting their relatives to storm SID, sometimes even when it was not involved in such operations.
“What has forced the IGP to order SID to relocate to CID headquarters is that people are being arrested for unclear reasons, kept incommunicado in certain places, and later dumped there. The public concludes that it was police yet in most cases our officers are not involved in such operations,” a senior police source said.
Police Spokesperson, Fred Enanga, declined to divulge details in the directive, saying that the police leadership took a decision that all CID divisions be headquartered at Kibuli including SID. “All CID Divisions are now headquartered in Kibuli,” Enanga said.
But sources indicate that the facility is going to be handed over to the Uganda People’s Defence Forces -UPDF for special operations against violent crime since it formerly housed Operation Wembley under the command of now retired Maj Gen Elly Kayanja.
Col. Deo Akiiki, the UPDF Deputy Spokesperson, said he was not aware of the proposed takeover of the SIU facility. “Has the police told you it has left it in our hands? Who said that? You need to talk to authorities like police spokesperson,” Col Akiiki said.
When asked further, Enanga said the place will not be closed completely. “The facility is not closed. The Kireka facility remains open and active,” Enanga said. Asked who will be in charge of the facility, when SIU shifts to CID headquarters, Enanga said: “It’s classified.”
SID became famous last year when dozens of people especially relatives of terror bomb suspects were picked from various parts of the country and detained there for months without trial. Human right lawyer, Geoffrey Turyamusiima, said he did not succeed in his efforts to ensure that relatives of terror suspects who were being held incommunicado are set free from SID and other detention facilities.
The arrests followed the explosion of Improvised Explosive Devices -IEDs at the Digida pork joint in Komamboga, Kampala Central Police Station, inside Swift bus in Mpigi and Parliamentary Avenue. In his November 20, 2021, televised address that came four days after the explosions at CPS and Parliamentary that claimed four civilians and a police officer, President, Yoweri Museveni said 106 terror suspects had been arrested in security operations against terrorism. However, only, 59 have since appeared before the court.