Kampala | RedPepper Digital -Maj. Gen. Kayanja Muhanga who was earlier this year appointed by Commander in Chief as the Kampala joint security operations coordinator is tipped to replace late Lt. Gen Paul Lokech.
en. Lokech who succumbed to blood clot-related complications last month served as the Deputy Inspector General of Police for only 8 months.
Gen Muhanga, like Lokech, is a battle-hardened officer who for the last few months has acquired experience of handling radical opposition elements in the Kampala metropolitan area. Being the overall operations coordinator for all security agencies, he is already cognizant of operations within the police force, the military and intelligence agencies.
According to our highly placed source, he is the right person to handle violent and hardcore criminals who earlier gazetted specific areas within the city as their safe-havens.
With the latest technology CCTV security cameras, he is expected to use experience acquired from Sudan and Somalia to be able to fight rogue acts, urban terrorism as well as moving things within the police force.
Our source contends that after Lokech’s death, several meetings have been held and it is said that in one of the meetings, some top security officers including the minister of Defense Vincent Ssempijja were tasked to find a perfect replacement for the deceased.
Out of the names that came up Gen. Muhanga is the right contender for the job owing to his experience. Gen. Muhanga was born in 1965 and has served in different capacities within UPDF.
Muhanga hails from Fort Portal, Kabarole District, Western Uganda and is an older brother to the veteran journalist, Andrew Mwenda and Junior Health Minister Margaret Muhanga.
By the time the CIC appointed him to head joint operations within Kampala Metropolitan, Gen. Muhanga had just returned from a one-year course at South Africa’s National Defense College.
Before heading to S. Africa, he served as the commander of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) 2nd Division based at Makenke, in Mbarara District.
The other officers that were premised to deputise the IGP Martin Okoth Ochola include the current Police Chief of Joint Staff, Maj Gen Jack Bakasumba and AIGP Edward Ochom who is currently serving as Director Operations.
Some insiders had started humming as to why he was conspicuously not seen anywhere during the burial arrangements of Lokech death.
However, sources say immediately after Lokech death he quickly stepped in to cover the vacuum as other police bosses handled Lokech’s burial arrangements.
Whereas Ochom is trained and experienced within the police circles, his chances to replace Lokech seem to be very slim. He was trusted to replace AIGP Asuman Mugenyi who retired from police after serving many years but on Lokech he may not be considered.
Although he is on the lineup, our source reveals that the Commander in Chief prefers a person with military experience in various operations to occupy that office.
Insiders say that his performance as the head of operations to implement the president’s directives of curfew and closure of bars has some gaps.
Instead of taking action, AIGP Ochom on most occasions has reportedly joined Ugandans to accuse police officers of protecting bars contrary to COVID-19 orders from the President.
Besides there are cases where Ochom clashes with fellow officers and the latest disagreement that made it to the media is that one he had with former KMP commander Moses Kafeero clashed over LC travel letters during the lockdown.
AIGP Ochom’s idea on orders banning the use of travel letters issued by Local Council chairpersons and Resident District Commissioner (RDCs) to people with emergencies was contrary to what his fellow officer Kafeero had communicated.
This open disagreement appeared like he overruled the order that had been issued by a fellow officer which was perceived as cohesion and not taken in well publicly.
Although Gen. Bakasumba is currently serving in the acting capacity of the Deputy IGP, he may go back to fully serve in his office of Chief of Joint Staff due to his outstanding performance.
He is trying his best to revive the glory of the Uganda Police. Recently Gen. Bakasumba was praised for echoing President Museveni’s orders on protecting human rights.
While speaking during the pass out of 43 commanders who had just completed a four months intermediate command and staff course at the Police Senior Command and Staff College in Bwebajja, along Entebbe road in Wakiso district, Gen Bakasumba warned the cops.
He called upon the police commanders to ensure that they respect the human rights of citizens. He warned that those who would serve contrary will face it rough. He assured the commanders that the training they got should be applied while conducting their day to day work for the force. Gen. Bakasumba is said to be on a good path of mitigating the intrigue within the police force.