5 April 2017

Uganda: Kayihura Assembles New Team to Pursue Criminals

Photo: Daily Monitor
Uganda Police Spokesperson, AIGP Asan Kasingye.

Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura has formed a new team to pursue criminals, including those sending death threats to senior police officers, The Observer has learnt.

Police sources say the new team is headed by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nixon Asingwire. This development comes in the wake of the stuttering investigation into the March 17 murder of former police spokesperson Andrew Felix Kaweesi, his escort and driver, shortly after the trio left his home in Kulambiro, Wakiso.

On Monday, The Observer quoted IGP Kayihura telling security agencies that have been collaborating with police to leave the force to take the lead in the investigations. Kayihura urged other agencies to write their own investigation reports if they are not comfortable working with police.

The agencies, which include the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Internal Security Organisation (Iso), and the Special Forces Command (SFC), are split on whether the investigation should focus on a possible inside job within police or external forces such as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group.

The decision to form a parallel team also comes two days after Asan Kasingye, the new police spokesperson, revealed that he had received death threats from a one John Kagimu. Addressing journalists on Monday, Kasingye urged Kagimu to stop threatening him and said if police did anything wrong to him, he should seek roundtable talks.

WHO IS ASINGWIRE?

When contacted by telephone yesterday afternoon, Kasingye said he was not aware that Asingwire had been appointed to head a new probe team.

Asingwire once commanded the police Flying Squad, a violent crime crack and special police operations unit, which handles special assignments directly from Kayihura.

He was among the 73 police officers who completed a six-month junior course at police training school in Bwebajje last Friday and emerged one of the best students.

Sources added that Kayihura held a meeting with Asingwire last Saturday and gave him the assignment. Sources told us that Kayihura instructed him to hand over the suspects to CID for interrogation.

Besides Kasingye, other senior officers who have received death threats are: CID boss Grace Akullo; John Ndugutse, the director counter terrorism; Abbas Byakagaba, the commander of senior staff college in Bwebajja; and Frank Mwesigwa, the commander Kampala Metropolitan Police.

In the wake of the Kaweesi murder, these senior police officers have had their personal security beefed up.

MURDER INVESTIGATION

Meanwhile, we have been told that more people have been arrested in relation to the murder of Kaweesi. Sources told us that at least 12 people are being detained at Nalufenya police station in Jinja where they are being interrogated.

"We highly believe that most of these suspects know something about the Kaweesi murder because we have arrested them trying to flee the country," said a source. So far they are being treated as suspects until they can be cleared.

GREATER MASAKA

In a related incident, security has been upped in the greater Masaka region after intelligence reports that armed people are planning to terrorize the area. Already, there are reports that armed people suspected to be rebels have been behind a wave of attacks in Sembabule, Masaka, Bukomansimbi and Lwengo districts.

Kasingye confirmed the deployment.

"It is true we have heavily deployed our personnel in that area after some armed people invaded the place and started killing people and destroying their property," he said.

Kasingye added the suspected thugs write messages to people telling them how they will attack them at night. He further said that so far, police has arrested more than 77 people who are being screened.

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