Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | The Appointments Committee of Parliament Wednesday completed vetting and approval of presidential appointees Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola and the deputy Inspector General of Police Brig.Gen Sabiiti Muzeeyi.
The process comes after President Yoweri Museveni recently reshuffled the Uganda police force, dropping General Edward Kale Kayihura and replacing him with his deputy.
Museveni on Sunday elevated Okoth Ochola, the deputy police chief, to Inspector General of Police and named Gen. Elly Tumwine the Security Minister to replace Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde.
The committee, which is chaired by the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, also reviewed credentials of the newly appointed security minister General Tumwine.
The committee is mandated to approve on behalf of parliament, the appointment of persons nominated for appointment by the president under the constitution or any other appointment required to be approved by parliament under any law.
Henry Kamya Makumbi (Mityana South), a member of the committee said the appointees were good and had no major issues with the committee.
He revealed that he was particularly satisfied with the calm manner in which Ochola answered questions fired by the committee members.
Makumbi said that Ochola revealed to the committee about his plan to overhaul the police to restore peoples’ trust and confidence in the force and make it more accountable.
“Ochola poured his heart out, not mentioning directly, but painting a picture that he was at pain with some of the things that happened during Kayihura’s time,” said Makumbi
“He for instance criticized the way Kayihura handled promotions in the force, the corruption and the decision to work with criminal gangs. This killed the morale and commitment of many officers” Makumbi added.
According to Makumbi, Ochola told the committee that he couldn’t do anything then because he (Kayihura) was his boss.
When journalists asked for a comment shortly after his interface with the committee, Ochola however, declined to divulge details about the vetting exercise.
Gen.Tumwine assures of security
Addressing journalists at parliament after vetting, General Tumwine assured of his commitment to ensuring safety of Ugandans in the wake of vicious murders and kidnaps.
He said no stone would be left unturned to crackdown on criminals that have been terrorizing Ugandans.
He however, called for collective effort from everyone to fight insecurity saying that he cannot singlehandedly ensure security without contribution from other security organs outside his ministry and Ugandans.
Tumwine promised to streamline intelligence services and improve coordination of security organs to eliminate crime.
“With all us using our good will, we shall come together and work for our country instead of being divided. There is going to be coordination among the teams,” he said.
He added, “There are just a few evil minded people but the majority are good. We need to marshal the good minded people we have so that the evil ones don’t spoil the good ones.”
Some of the agencies under Tumwine’s control include Internal Security Organization (ISO) and External Security Organization (ESO).
The other sister security agencies include the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), The UPDF Special Forces Command (SFC) among others.
Tumwine also urged Ugandans to work together with security agencies by providing timely information
“We need all Ugandans on board including you the media. People must understand that security is everyone’s responsibility,”