The IGG carried out investigations into alleged irregular cadet recruitment and irregular promotions in the Police Force
A total of 985 Police cadets whose confirmation as Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs) had dragged on since 2016 following an investigation by the Inspector General of Government (IGG), have finally been confirmed.
Police deputy spokesperson, Polly Namaye, on Wednesday confirmed that 985 cadets, both male and female, had been confirmed by President Yoweri Museveni the appointing authority.
New Vision has learnt that among those confirmed after four years on probation, is Kampala Metropolitan deputy Police spokesperson, Luke Owoyesigyire.
“Phase one of the confirmations is complete,” Namaye said, adding that the Uganda Police Force was also looking at implementing recommendations by the IGG in September last year.
The IGG carried out investigations into alleged irregular cadet recruitment and irregular promotions in the Police following a petition by a whistleblower and made recommendations to the Police last year.
The IGG, Justice Irene Mulyagonja, last year stated that her office received a complaint about the recruitment of cadet ASPs for the years 2014 and 2015 in which the petition said they were marred with corrupt practices and were unfairly conducted.
There were over 1000 cadets recruited, implying that a few have not yet been confirmed over alleged irregular recruitment, which includes cases of forgery of academic documents.
After investigations into these claims, the IGG established that the recruitment processes did not comply with the recruitment guidelines which were developed and issued by the Police’s directorate of human resource.
“Five candidates uttered false academic documents to the police recruitment teams but were still recruited. In-service graduate Police officers at subordinate ranks were denied an opportunity to compete for cadet ASP vacancies advertised yet there is no policy of placement, deployment and promotion of graduates,” Mulyagonja noted.
The IGG made recommendations to police authorities, among them, that all Police officers who were involved in flouting of the recruitment guidelines be forwarded to relevant police authorities for appropriate disciplinary action.
“All cadets who were irregularly appointed into the Uganda Police Force be submitted to the Police Council for a review of their appointment with a view of rescinding them,” the IGG report observed, adding that the five candidates who uttered false academic documents to the recruitment teams be prosecuted.
Mulyagonja directed the Police authority to expedite the formulation of a policy on placement of Police officers who acquire higher qualifications while in service.
The IGG also found out that over 100 Police officers were irregularly promoted where some officers skipped up to two ranks.
Those who carried out the irregular promotions reportedly took advantage of a directive by President Museveni to promote 496 Police officers on February 4, 2015.
Investigations showed that many names were smuggled onto the list including officers who had; forged documents, pending cases, and those who had just been promoted a few months before. However, Namaye declined to comment on the issue of the promotions.
Majority of the promoted officers reportedly got accelerated promotions by the time Police authorities effected Museveni’s directive in February 2016, stated Mulyagonja.
According to the IGG, 36 officers got promoted although they were not on the list and had not been recommended by their respective directors for promotion.
In the report also sent to the Internal Affairs Ministry, Mulyagonja revealed that 16 Police officers, some of them holding senior ranks, were promoted based on fake academic documents.
According to the IGG, these officers should be charged with forgery and uttering false documents under sections 342 and 351 of the Penal Code Act, adding that they also breached regulation 42 of the Public Service Commission regulations 2009.
“The Police authority should ensure that academic documents of officers are verified before appointment. A general verification exercise of the academic documents of all serving Uganda Police Force officers should be carried out for purposes of ensuring that they have genuine academic documents,” Mulyagonja recommended
Although the accelerated promotions were irregular, they were justified by the former Police chief, Gen. Kale Kayihura.
“Out of the 102 officers who got accelerated promotions; 40 officers skipped one rank and 62 officers were promoted to their next rank without having served at their previous rank for a period of three years as required by the Public Service Standing Orders 2010,” noted the report dated September 10, 2018.
Additionally, the IGG said that one officer, Fortunate Habyara, a former commander of the Police’s Professional Standards Unit, skipped two ranks and was elevated to the rank of Commissioner of Police, having served at the previous rank of superintendent of police for three years.
“The accelerated promotions were justified by the Inspector General of Police ( then Kayihura) stating that all the officers who got accelerated promotions met the criteria required for promotion to the respective ranks which included among others; clean service record, experience, training, existence of the vacancy in the structure, gender, commitment and satisfactory performance,” the IGG said.
During this promotion, five officers were elevated to the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP), the third-highest rank in the force. 19 rose to the rank of Senior Commissioner of Police (SCP), 13 to the rank of Commissioner of Police (CP), 30 became Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACP), 52 were elevated to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) while 65 became Superintendents of Police (SP).
But after the piping ceremony, which some officers boycotted, whistleblowers within police complained to the IGG, prompting her to probe the matter.
The petitioner alleged that former Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs); Susan Kasingye (legal department) and Nickson Agasirwe (former commandant special operations unit – now detained by the army in Makindye barracks), skipped a rank each to become SSPs.
It was claimed that former Kayihura aide Jonathan Baroza skipped two ranks to become ACP, while Zura Ganyana (communications department) was not recommended for promotion to SSP. “Enoch Abaine and (Dennis) Namuwoza were promoted four months earlier but were promoted again,” the petitioner stated.
After the whistleblower’s petition, Kayihura interestingly also set up a committee to investigate the alleged irregular promotions, although no report was ever produced until he was replaced by Okoth Ochola On March 4, 2018.
The IGG also directed the Police authority to review the promotion of eight Police officers whom she said were irregularly promoted while disciplinary cases against them were pending.