No Promotions in Police for 5 Years; Sectarianism cited as 500 Senior Officers Wait

Although military officers were posted in police to help strengthen its management, the Human Resource directorate that they took over is yet to to handle the matter many officers have been anxiously waiting for – promotions.

It is exactly fiver years since officers were last promoted on February 4th, 2014.

On July 3rd, 2019, Inspector General Martin Okoth Ochola pronounced the gratitude of the police force to the president for seconding to police the senior UPDF officer who include AIGP Brigadier Jack Bakasumba as Chief of Joint Staff, AIGP Brigadier Godfrey Golooba as Director Human Resource Development and Training and AIGP Colonel Jesse Kamunanwire as Director Human Resource Administration. But hundreds of officers, mainly Assistant Superintendents of Police -ASPs who have for long been anxiously waiting for promotion are yet to feel the impact of the not-so-new directors.

It is now emerging that sectarianism allegations are among the major reasons why police leadership has halted promotion of 500 senior police officers. The shortlisting process started in January last year and the promotion exercise was expected to be conducted in April of the same year.

In fact the Chief Police Commissar AIGP Asan Kasingye, informed female police officers at their conference in February last year that everything was already set in order to have the promotions conducted. Kasingye excited the more than 100 female police commanders that money had been allocated to match the salaries to the new ranks that they were going to get.

Police council held in November 2019 passed a resolution to resume promotions which were last held on February 4, 2016. Earlier plans were to hold the promotion in January of last year but were later pushed to April. Kasingye said the promotions were mostly going to favour women so that they can be able to take over high command positions.

Nevertheless, the promotion was not held in April and information circulated that it had been postponed to August of last year but again the exercise did not take place. Uganda Radio Network –URN has reliably been informed by one of the directors at Naguru police headquarters that sectarianism allegations are the main reason why the Inspector General of Police, Martin Ochola, has suspended the promotion process.

The senior police director said they had concluded the shortlisting exercise and 500 Assistant Superintendents of Police –ASP, Superintendents of Police –SP, Senior Superintendents of Police –SSP and Assistant Commissioners of Police –ACPs had been selected for promotion.

“We had more than 500 shortlisted officers for promotion. But some officers even without seeing the list rushed and told some MPs that we were promoting people from one part of the country. Others rushed to IGG and made the same sectarian allegations. The MPs questioned the IGP and he got tired of questions. The exercise was halted,” a police director said.

The Inspectorate of Government spokesperson, Ali Munira, told URN that there was no  formal complaint filed by affected police officers. But one of the policeman who allegedly raised the red flag about the promotions and preferred anonymity said: “I was one of the officers who thought we deserved to be on the list but to our surprise our names were again missing just like it happened in 2016 and 2014. We could not allow that to happen. We involved people we thought matter.”

Police promotions are majorly based on someone’s performance record, responsibility one holds, years spent in the force and courses attended to. The halted promotion exercise was going to have the biggest batch of promotions in police history.

Senior Commissioner of Police –SCP Elly Womanya, who is the deputy director Human Resource Development –HRD said many senior officers are waiting to be enrolled for courses in order to increase their chances of taking on higher command positions.

The last promotion that was presided over by then IGP Gen Edward Kale Kayihura had five policemen promoted to the highest rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police –AIGP, 19 police officers were promoted to Senior Commissioner of Police –SCP, twelve were promoted to Commissioner of Police –CP, thirty were promoted to ACP, 52 promoted to SSP, 132 promoted to SP and 245 promoted to ASP.