Last week, President Yoweri Museveni promoted 496 officers with new ranks ahead of February 18 elections.
The officers were decorated by Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, at Police Headquarters at Naguru in Kampala on Friday.
New developments indicate the cops were promoted for being politically leaning to the ruling party leaving out the qualified ones who were accused of leaning towards former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi.
Some of the senior officers who were qualified but got their names removed from the list at the last minute, described the process as full of bribery, tribalism and favouritism.
Why the hasty promotions
The inside story we have indicates that president Museveni promoted officers after a security report that revealed that those who held similar positions were pro-change and especially allied to Mbabazi.
“The officers promoted were fully selected against those who had been recommended by different heads of departments,” the source says.
The new team will hold different portfolios countrywide and “replace” those who have been heading some key positions.
The security report indicated that the officers who held important positions were most likely not to accept “robot-like orders” that would require them to shoot protesters in case of election violence.
That is why, the source said, those lacking in qualifications were hastily elevated to attain similar ranks and implement such orders.
On Friday, the angry heads of departments boycotted the promotions ceremony.
Kayihura agreed to having received complaints from officers who were left out in the promotions especially from general duties, directorates of criminal investigations, band and traffic departments.
The promotions committee is headed by deputy AIGP, Martin Okoth-Ochola, who oversaw the questionable promotions that have officers jumping two ranks.
Those who just returned from a six-month course in an army institute found their positions occupied by low rank officers.
Back in 2010, three police officers in the human resource directorate were arrested for soliciting bribes to include officers on the promotion list, according to Daily Monitor.
Meanwhile, Monitor reports that the Inspector General of Government (IGG) Irene Mulyagonja is reviewing several complaints against the recent police promotions following a petition to her office.
The petition, lodged early this week, asks the IGG to launch an inquiry into the “sham exercise and also reprimand officers in the Police Directorate of Human Resources who are responsible for editing the list of who is promoted and who is not”.
The petitioners say the act tantamount to corruption and abuse of office saw officers like Susan Kasingye, Zurah Ganyana and Jonathan Baroza rise to high ranks although they are unqualified.
Kayihura’s assistant a one Baroza was made to skip two ranks and was promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Ganyana, promoted to the rank of SSP, had reportedly not been recommended from her department [Public Relations] but was elevated because she is a daughter of Police Director of Administration Moses Balimwoyo.
They cited a one Nickson Agasirwe, who joined the police as a Special Police Constable and police informer in Mbarara District in 2002 and has never undergone the mandatory nine-month police training but is now a Senior Superintendent of Police.
Aaron Baguma, the Central Police Station Commander who has been indicted by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on murder charges, was promoted to the rank of Superintendent of Police.
Enock Abaine and Dennis Namuwoza were both promoted to the rank of ACP, four months after they had received a previous promotion.
Not long ago, Lt Col Ndahura Atwooki Birakurataki was promoted to Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP), Charles Asaba and Fortunate Habyara were also promoted to the rank of Senior Commissioner of Police (SCP) and rank of commissioner by making them skip ranks.
“We will discuss it, and determine whether or not to move forward with the investigations,” Mulyagonja told Daily Monitor as far as the petition is concerned.