KAMPALA — President Museveni has confirmed veteran intelligence operative Emmy Katabazi as the new deputy Director General of the Internal Security Organisation.
Katabazi also promoted to the rank of Major in the Uganda People’s Defense Forces, will deputise Col. Charles Oluka, the in-coming Director General, whose appointment was announced last Thursday after Mr. Museveni sensationally fired the beleaguered Col. Kaka Bagyenda, whose tenure saw inter-agency rivalries escalate.
“The president has confirmed that Maj. Katabazi will be the first deputy DG, while Taban Amin continues as the second deputy DG,” a top official told PML Daily on Tuesday.
The two will assume office on Wednesday, October 14.
Both Col. Oluka, who headed the spy agency’s technical services
and Maj. Katabazi who was deputy Director of Mass Media, had fallen out with Col. Kaka, and were on leave at the time of appointment.
In a look at Col. Bagyenda’s three years as head of ISO, allegations of torture, human rights abuses, arbitrary arrests and internal fights among ISO agents have taken precedence, putting the country’s security at risk.
Before his appointment in 2017 to take over from Brig. Ronnie Balya, Col. Kaka had been a businessman running several hotels across the country.
When he took over intelligence in 2017, he was seen as the saviour and was credited for doing reconnaissance and gathering intelligence that helped thwart internal rebellion in the army and government.
However, his honeymoon was soon over as most of the so-called intelligence turned out to be false. Multiple sources say ISO has authored some controversial reports that accused some big military big shots of working against President Museveni. Some of these reports, sources said, have been found fake. For instance, Kaka’s most trusted operative, Simon Peter Odongo, who was the head of ISO’s ICT Department, was accused of framing the former Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura on the killing of Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
The joint security investigation into the death of Kaweesi found out that the information that ISO shared about Gen Kayihura was false.
ISO operatives were accused of carrying out human right abuse including arbitrary arrests of people and detaining them at an island in Lake Victoria for months. In 2019, lawyers under their umbrella body, the Uganda Law Society (ULS) accused Kaka of arresting, detaining and torturing citizens and usurping the powers of other security agencies and acting outside the law.