Parliament’s Appointments Committee chaired by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is today set to vet the newly appointed Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Okoth Ochola and his Deputy, Brigadier Sabiiti Muzeei.
According to an official communication issued by the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige, the committee is to also interface with Gen. Elly Tumwine, the newly appointed Security Minister.
“The Speaker of Parliament received a communication from the President of the Republic of Uganda recommending the appointment of Gen. Elly Tumwine as Minister for Security and Okoth Ochola as Inspector General of Police and Brigadier Sabiiti Muzeei as Deputy Inpector General of Police respectively,” reads part of Kibirige’s communication to MPs sitting on the Appointments Committee.
The communication indicates that Tumwine is to interface with the committee first at 10:00am, followed by Ochola at 10:30am and Sabiiti at 11:00am.
The three were appointed in their respective positions by President Yoweri Museveni in a Sunday reshuffle in which he sacked long-serving Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura replacing him by his deputy, Okoth Ochola.
The President also appointed Brigadier Sabiiti Muzeei who has been Commander of the Military Police as Deputy Inspector General of Police and General Tumwine as Security Minister replacing Lieutenant-General Henry Tumukunde.
The sacking of Kayihura and Tumukunde came at the time when their personal differences have almost crippled police and security work. Kayihura has been heading the police force since November 2005 while Tumukunde returned to government in 2016 after 10 years on the sidelines.
If approved by the committee today, Ochola will become the first career police officer to head the force in 17 years. The last career officer to be IGP was John Kisembo who was replaced by General Katumba Wamala in April 2001. Katumba was replaced in 2005 by Kayihura, with the former being appointed Land Forces commander and later Chief of Defence Forces until last year when he was appointed State Minister for Works.
Some of the issues Ochola will be expected to answer while meeting the Appointments Committee are issues related to human rights abuses that have been put the police on the spot in the last years among others.