Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister for Presidency Babirye Milly Babalanda has identified gaps in the intelligence institutions that she hopes to address as the new line Minister.
Babalanda officially took over office on Thursday from former Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo in a function graced by second Deputy Prime Minister General Moses Ali held at the Office of the Prime Ministers conference facility.
During the handover ceremony, Babalanda who said she is just recovering from COVID-19 spoke for an hour, issuing guidelines to the staff of the office of the President, the Ministries under the Office and the office of the Resident District Commissioners (RDC)’s.
According to Babalanda, there are gaps in the intelligence organisations including the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and External Security Organisation (ESO), and the President has always expressed concerns about the gaps especially in gathering intelligence.
She said ISO is filled with corruption, officials are trading intelligence and revealing sources of information, infighting among ISO staff, and engagement in divisive local politics by District Internal Security Officers and Gombolola Internal Security Organisation.
She also says that there is interfearance among the operations of the different security branches, officials acting outside official mandate involvement in land conflicts and engaging untrusted informers among others.
The new Minister says it is sad that ISO was branded by the 10th parliament as a national torture chamber, which undermined the work of ISO and created bad image.
“I appeal to the new leadership of ISO under the supervision of the Minister of Security to come up with a plan to address the above challenges” she said.
She says that these challenges can be addressed through the re-organization of the ISO and also rebuilding confidence and trust in the institution by the current leadership.
Babalanda pledged to give a plan aimed at reorganising ISO and also called on DISOs and GISOs to stop raising issues of their welfare in the public saying they will be addressed.
On ESO, Babalanda says their challenges are similar to that of ISO, but together with the Minister of Security they will resolve this. She also issued up to 18 guidelines to RDC’s in relation to their role. She says all RDCs should reside and operate from their district, have a 24/7 telephone access, address Ugandans on public matters on radios atleast twice in a week, share responsibilities with their deputies, desist from delegating non staff members, ensure offices are opened,desist from involving in politics among others.
She also says she will suggest the reinstatement of reourceful cadres at the RDCs office to help with intelligence gathering.
Oh her part, Esther Mbayo said she came and found infighting with the Uganda Security Printing Company, and Uganda Aids Commission, but she leaves it organised.
She asked the incoming Minister to push harder for the construction of the Government campus in Bwebajja which has become a nightmare.
The Secretary office of the President Yunus Kakande told the Minister that a key issue in the office is Ministers failing to attend top management meeting where they are supposed to be briefed by departments.
Gen. Moses Ali on his part challenged the Minister over time keeping, as he was the first in the area and had to wait for them.