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Lawyer asks court to block appointment of army officers into police

Lawyer Male Mabirizi during the recently concluded age limit case in Mbale. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Mr Male Mabirizi, a lawyer, has asked the High Court to block the appointment of army officers into Police as well as the recruitment of Local Defence Unit (LDU), arguing that they are illegal.

President Museveni on July 2 appointed several military officers to serve in the police force. They include Col. Sserunjogi Ddamulira, who was appointed Director of Police Crime Intelligence; Brigadier Sam Bakasumba, the Chief of Joint Staff Uganda Police Force, Brigadier Godfrey Golooba, Director Human Resource Development and Training, and Col. Jesse Kamunanwire, the Director in Charge of Human Resource and Administration.

But Mr Mabirizi, in his suit filed before the Civil Division of the High Court, contends that the appointments are procedurally improper as the President of Uganda has not powers to appoint army officers into Uganda Police force.

He argues that Section 9 of the Police Act, mandates the police authority to advise the president on the appointment of the inspector-General of Police , the Deputy Inspector General of Police and recommend to the president appointments and promotions of police officers above the rank of assistant superintendent of police.

In the same suit, Mr Mabirizi also wants court to declare that the recruitment, training, deployment and maintenance of the Local Defense Unit-LDU is illegal. He says that LDU’s are not provided for anywhere in the constitution and should, therefore, be disbanded.

Mabirizi is also challenging the appointment of Justice Simon Byabakama as electoral commission chairperson. Byabakama took over from Engineer, Badru Kigundu who was dropped in 2016.

According to Mabirizi, Byabakama shouldn’t have taken the office without relinquishing his position as Court of Appeal Judge.

President Museveni is increasingly appointing soldiers into police positions. In 2001, he appointed General Edward Katumba Wamala as the IGP, a position he held until 2005. He was replaced by General Kale Kayihura who served until March 2018. Also the former Director of Crime Intelligence, Col, Atwoki Ndahura was a military officer.  In 2018, Museveni also appointed Major General Sabiiti Muzeeyi Deputy IGP.

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