Opinion: Is President Museveni taking the role of the IGP?

When reading the letter ‘Update on combating crime’, which was released today on the 3rd November 2019. It was like reading a spread-sheet from an Inspector General of Police. It was reading into the works of the police and investigations made by the Police Force. This wasn’t an letter made by actual President. The Head of State and the Command-in-Chief. No, this was the letter an Inspector General of Police (IGP) should have made.

That President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is micro-managing is now common knowledge. This is why just mere week ago or so, the Deputy IGP had to formulate a plan to criminal gangs, which was just putting basic policing onto a spread-sheet and call it a day. Therefore, what was made today, as a show of effort and work. The President really should have had the IGP J.M. Okoth-Ochola released this letter or something similar. Since, this is initially his job, if not let CP Fred Enaga do his thing and shred some cheese over it and call it a meal.

When saying all this. I will take some pieces of it and show why I feel like this. Because, that is the only way this letter from him makes some sense.

Greetings, after some weeks of absence. This time, I will, again, address you on the issue of combating crime because crime was appearing, again, after we had suppressed it with Operation Wembley in the year 2002. The criminal groups, in recent times, had killed people in the areas of Kampala-Entebbe, Ntungamo, Lyantonde and the Kisoro areas. I have not yet received the report for Kisoro. However, for Kampala Metropolitan, Ntungamo and Lyantonde, the gangs have been wiped out. These gangs had killed 13 people, injured 2 and robbed sh. 24 million in total” (Museveni, 03.11.2019).

Francis K. Butagira statement at the United Nations in New York on the 8th July 2003: The collection of illicit arms in an ongoing activity by law enforcement agencies. A Joint Task Force by the security agencies, code named “Operation Wembley” set up early in 2002 to tackle increased armed crime resulted in the recovery of hundreds of firearms” (Butagira, 08.07.2003). Sam A Akaki wrote: “Creation of ad hoc and unauthorised detaining agencies, such as Operation Wembley and its successor, the Violent Crime Crack Unit (VCCU)” (Written evidence submitted by International Lobby for Reform in Uganda (ILORU), December 2004). What this is showing how he promoted the Operation Wembly now and saying what is happening is the same the past ad-hoc action. This means, there are something similar in the path and usage of the police resources. Therefore, he could just have been an IGP and not so presidential.

After this he shows stories from several places in the Republic, where the been murders, thieving and gangs on rampage. Just writing a protocol of what is the gist of the criminal activity done and even whose name behind it. That is so not like a President, but like a Police Commander. However, he ended this piece with this:

You all can see that what was missing was vigilance by the public and the Police and increasing the speed of responding by the Police. The cameras helped in a few cases. Forensic analysis of cartridges helped in all of them. Police dogs, helped a bit in the Ntungamo incidents. It is easy to defeat these criminals as I said from the very beginning. You can see, how the criminals are trying to use our good roads and the good telephone system to move from Kampala and commit crimes in Ntungamo or any other far corner of Uganda. I will not use permanent road-blocks to catch them. It disturbs Nalumanya and Ssalumanya (the ones who are guilty and the ones who are not guilty). I will always use the technology of jigger extraction. You do not hurt the toe because there is a jigger there. You patiently pull back the skin, until you extract the jigger itself and reward it with fire with little damage to the toe” (Museveni, 03.11.2019).

We can all see, that his pleased by his own achievement like a Police Commander would be, if his policies and his methods was working. However, his the President and not the Police Commander. Even, if he has the overall leadership of the Republic. That doesn’t mean that he should involve himself as directly as this.

The way he wrote the stories of the crimes. The way he is saying that the roads, the telephones and everything else makes it easier for criminals. What makes it easier for criminals to thrive is the lack of policing, lack of rule of law and also an impoverished police. What has been done here is ad-hoc acts of sudden change of what the police was focused on. Instead of focusing on opposition police, it actually did police work and went after gangs. However, that shouldn’t be commended, but says more about the lack of work been put in the right places by the authorities, by the President and by the supposed IGP. Nevertheless, this will continue and this is not the final word in the saga.

We just know it comes more, but this isn’t the sound of reassuring President. No, this is the words of a proud IGP doing his thing. Peace.

Uganda Police Force: Police Dismantles Additional Criminal Gangs (21.10.2019)

Opinion: DIGP Sabiiti’s security plan is basic policing!

Okay The point I’m making is this: Soldiering and policing, they ain’t the same thing. And before we went and took the wrong turn and start up with these war games, the cop walked a beat, and he learned that post. And if there were things that happened on that post, where there be a rape, a robbery, or a shooting, he had people out there helping him, feeding him information. But every time I came to you, my DEU sergeant, for information, to find out what’s going on out on them streets… all that came back was some bullshit. You had your stats, your arrests, your seizures, but don’t none of that amount to shit when it comes to protecting the neighborhood, now do it? [sighs] You know, he worst thing about this, so-called drug war, to my mind…it just, it ruined this job” – Howard “Bunny” Colvin – The Wire Season 3:10 (2004).

What Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) Sabiiti Muzeyi wrote and spelled out to the media in this weeks “Enhanced Security Plan to Curb Violent Crimes”. It was basically spelling out what policing is all about. Not strange it is like this, when the army is more involved, the leadership is patriotic, loyal cadres of the army and leaders from with the Police Force itself.

That is why these fellows could have been re-watching The Wire or any other Police TV-Series, which has been known for a while. Even Pacific Blue, Luther, NYPD Blue, Colombo and all the editions of Law & Order. All of these could say about the same thing.

What the DIGP did launch was more surveillance and investigation capacities, fingerprinting firearms, improving forensics department and more visible police officers in the traffic. This is all steps of ordinary policing. That is not re-inventing an art-form. Alas, this is not changing the ways of doing work.

That is why what they are wanting to do. Is to directly wire-tap gangs, follow-up on CCTV Cameras and investigations itself. So, that they can follow-up on suspects and find proper evidence to link possible criminals. This should be their works, follow leads and breadcrumbs, even have proper detectives, that detect things and solves cases. That shouldn’t so hard, but you cannot anticipate soldiers and the army men to get this. They are securing a territory, they are in the line-of-fire, they are not getting affidavits, finding the motives and the evidence. The Army will use force to keep safety, they will guard a perimeter and secure a venue. They will not find a person with a guilty conscience and ID a suspect with fingerprints and so-on. This they could have learned from watching TV.

Therefore, this sort of enhanced plan to crack down on gangs isn’t that substantial. It shows more the lack of finesse, the lack of protocol and the lack of work ethic within the force. They are just soldiers on the beat and not doing policing. That is why they are not able to stop the gangs from existing. This is how it seems.

This report and PR hasn’t shown strength or ability to restructure. Instead, it has shown weakness and that they have been focused on other work. The Police is known for monitoring opposition leaders, their gatherings and such, but not handling actual criminals. This is maybe why it has to learn basic policing. Which is a sad sight.

Maybe, the UPF should hold seminars, hold course and even have bonus evenings in the police stations with talking points and questions after watching the Wire or anyone else. To see, if there are anything they could learn to do their actual job. Peace.

Opinion: Mzee made a 9 Point Plan to end insecurity last year, now his giving DIGP Sabiiti 48 hours to solve it!

I have given 2 days to Commander Sabiiti of the Police to come out with a plan to combat these gangs. The IGP is away in Peru for a meeting. I will look at that plan, comment on it and it will, then, be communicated to all of you. It is easy to defeat these gangs. Their crimes will only add to the credit of the NRM because we are going to defeat them. Yet, the People have already seen the bankruptcy and the criminality of these groups and those who back them” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 15.10.2019).

Well, Deputy IGP Steven Sabiiti Muzeyi has really only about 24 hours to finish the plan to challenge gangs as a Police Officer, a high ranking security official and a former Major General in the army. This on orders and by commands put on Social Media yesterday by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Who should have just sent him the package of already well-written ideas from last year. Unless, these are already fixed.

Because on the 20th June 2018, the President dropped his 9 Point Plan to end insecurity. Which was an extensive plan, but you can bug now 1 ½ year later if the Uganda Police Force and the other agencies did comply to this. Even if the magical plan of last year was implemented and put into action.

Like are the police able to collect fingerprints and ID guns? Are the police able to find out by register of boda-boda’s? How is it going with those specialized helmets for boda-boda drivers? Haven’t the CCTV’s done anything, now that they are actually up and going? How is it going with the building of that forensic laboratory? What is going on wit the Flying Squad? Are the any regulation of drones? How is it going with the thieves den on WhatsApp and on Social Media, any signals of catching up on that? Finally, have the Police and Customs acquired any scanners to secure transit of cargo?

This is brief and quick asking of the 9 Point Programme, as the DIGP Sabiiti only has one more day left. But if felt I left out the breadcrumbs of the DIGP to follow, as he stated earlier in his text: “However, for today, I will only comment on the pigs that are attacking People with pangas and mitayimbwa (steel- bars) and robbing them” (Museveni, 15.10.2019). Not that he has to register or look for lost pigs. No, that he has to register pangas, get people to them illuminated numbers in a registry and also combat illegal imports of steal bars. Maybe even, secure previous 9 point plan and actually enforce it.

Who knows, maybe the bans of hoods wasn’t an bad idea, since the Police Force neither has capacity or resources to follow up on previous orders above high. DIGP Sabiiti won’t say that, because than he might be forced to resign or get assigned to a foot-post in Kotido district or something.

If the President was serious he would have given him more time. As he himself hasn’t finished any of his previously made plans, starting all the way back to the 10-Point Programme, before the Vision 2020 or 2040, even the National Development Plan I and II. Therefore, the man should be a bit more patient with his technocrat or civil servant. However, don’t anticipate that. But just like the 9 Pointer of last year.

The additions made by the DIGP will be put in a stacks of paper and forgotten. That is just the way it is, because the funds are only for monitoring opposition and not fight actual crime. Peace.