In a meeting with President Museveni on April 6, Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura was directed to swiftly conclude the ongoing prominent murder investigations, The Observer has learnt.
At the same time, highly placed police sources told us that Kayihura's chances of re-appointment to a fifth term could depend on how successful he will be in executing that presidential assignment.
Kayihura's fourth term as inspector general of police ends on November 1, 2017 and this newspaper reported recently that he, alongside his deputy Okoth Ochola, are keen to secure reappointment.
An inspector general of police is normally appointed to a three- year term. The key pending murder investigations include that of Andrew Felix Kaweesi, the former police spokesman who was killed with his bodyguard and driver on March 17, and Joan Kagezi, the former senior principal state attorney, who was gunned down in March 2015.
Although a number of suspects have so far been arrested, the fact that no one has been charged in court suggests the police are still far from nabbing Kaweesi's real killers.
Several suspects arrested in connection with the Kagezi murder have since been released for lack of evidence, leaving the high-profile investigation to go cold.
Sources have told us that during the State House meeting, the president told Kayihura to make sure that both Kaweesi and Kagezi's killers are arrested to face the law.
Museveni is reported to have told Kayihura that the "police is failing government by not concluding high-profile cases."
In the meeting attended by Gen Jeje Odongo, the minister of Internal Affairs, the president reportedly complained that the police force, which his government gives substantial financial facilitation, was underperforming.
According to our sources, the president expressed concern that the public might start to think that the government is behind some of the murders if the police fail to apprehend suspects.
Interviewed on Saturday, Gen Jeje Odongo, neither denied nor confirmed attending the State House meeting.
"My brother, even if I attended that meeting, I would not tell you what we discussed because I don't discuss my roles in the media," Odongo said, adding that security matters are supposed to be highly classified.
According to our sources, while the president didn't expressly state that police's performance in these murder cases would affect Kayihura's reappointment, it is likely to be a factor. First appointed IGP in 2005, Kayihura is already the longest- serving police chief in Uganda's history.
A former military advisor of the president, Kayihura is viewed as Museveni's blue-eyed boy and loyal supporter.
However, he also has to contend with many enemies, especially within security circles, who are bent on seeing him ousted from the job. At the vigil of Kaweesi, President Museveni lamented that the police force is full of criminals and directed Kayihura to clean it up.