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Mabirizi petitions court over appointments of military officers in police ranks

FILE PHOTO: Lawyer Male Mabirizi

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Male Mabirizi has petitioned the Civil Division of High Court to quash the recent appointment of army officers into Uganda Police Force.

The army officers are Brigadier Sam Bakasumba, the Chief of Joint Staff Uganda Police Force, Brigadier Godfrey Golooba, Director Human Resource Development and Training, Col. Sserunjogi Ddamulira, Director of Police Crime Intelligence, and Col. Jesse Kamunanwire, the Director in Charge of Human Resource and Administration.

The Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola communicated the appointment of the military officers in his communication on July 2, 2019.

However, in suit against the Attorney General, Mabirizi wants court to declare the appointment of the army officers into Uganda police force illegal and procedurally improper.

Mabirizi contends that the president of Uganda neither has powers to appoint army officers into Uganda Police force nor assign them police ranks.

Section 9 of the Police Act, mandates the police authority to advise the president on the appointment of the Inspector General of Police, the Deputy Inspector General of Police and recommend to the president appointments and promotions of police officers above the rank of assistant superintendent of police.

In the same suit, Mabirizi also wants court to declare that the recruitment, training, deployment and maintenance of the Local Defense Unit-LDU is illegal.

He says that LDU’s are not provided for anywhere in the constitution and should therefore be disbanded.

Mabirizi is also challenging the appointment of Justice Simon Byabakama as electoral commission chairperson. Byabakama took over from Engineer, Badru Kigundu who was dropped in 2016.

According to Mabirizi, Byabakama shouldn’t have taken the office without relinquishing his position as Court of Appeal Judge.

Military Deployments in Uganda Police    

The four military officers are not the first Museveni is appointing into police ranks. In 2001, president Museveni appointed General, Edward Katumba Wamala, IGP, a position he held until 2005.

He was replaced by General, Kale Kayihura who served until March 2018 when he was deployed.

Also the former Director of Crime Intelligence, Col, Atwoki Ndahura was a military officer.  In 2018, Museveni also appointed Major General, Sabiiti Muzeeyi Deputy IGP.

The Defense and Veteran Affairs Ministry Spokesperson, Brigadier Richard Karemire has since described the appointment of army officers into police ranks police as “cross pollination”.

He said the appointments are aimed at supporting their brothers in Uganda Police Force to further build their capacity in protecting law and order.

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