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Bobi Wine arrest commander bounces back in powerful police position

Frank Mwesigwa

Frank Mwesigwa

President Yoweri Museveni has returned senior commissioner of police (SCP) Frank Mwesigwa to the powerful police command position of director operations service (OPS) since his actions during the 2020 presidential campaigns which left 54 people killed.

Mwesigwa, who was promoted to his current rank in 2022, commanded operations that led to the arrest of National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate, Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine, on November 18, 2020, at a campaign rally in Luuka district in Busoga.

Soon after the news of Bobi Wine’s arrest spread on mainstream and social media channels, hundreds of his supporters took to the streets demanding his immediate release. In response, uniformed and non-uniformed security personnel and operatives opened fire at protesters in different parts of the country, leaving 54 dead, a number which was captured in the police force report in 2020 while scores survived with multiple bullet wounds.

Mwesigwa after the 2020 incident has been in the quiet position of deputy director of Counter-Terrorism (CT) police, an elite unit that rarely engages in civilian-related activities save for terror-related tasks, guarding elite persons and key government installations. But Mwesigwa’s appointment as OPS director is likely to make him appear more often in the public compared to where he has been since 2020.

He replaces AIGP John Nuwagira who has been sent to the Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU). Mwesigwa previously served as commander of Kampala Metropolitan and it was during his tenure that several prominent Muslim Sheikhs and senior security officers like AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi and Maj Muhammad Kiggundu were assassinated. This made many criticize him that he was perhaps not in charge of the city’s security.

His appointment is part of the new changes that President Museveni has made in police recently. The changes have seen more Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) officers deployed in police. Uganda Police Force will now be headed by Abbas Byakagaba who replaces retired police boss Martins Okoth Ochola. Museveni has named AIGP Fadhir Kaali as the new director of fire and rescue services replacing retired AIGP Joseph Mugisa.

SCP Charles Kataratambi has been appointed director of legal services replacing retired AIGP Erasmus Twarahukwa. SCP Hadijah Namutebi has been moved from chief political commissariat (CPC) and appointed director of welfare and production replacing retired AIGP Charles Birungi.

Brig Gen Godfrey Golooba, who has been serving as director director of human resource development has been returned to the army and replaced with SCP Moses Kafeero.

Kafeero has been the commander of Bwebajja police command and Staff College. Golooba was moved into the police force in 2019 alongside Brig Gen Chris Damulira who is the director of crime intelligence, Brig Jesse Kamunanwire is the director of human resource management, and Maj Gen Jack Bakasumba as chief of joint staff.

Museveni took back Bakasumba into the army and he is currently serving as army chief of joint staff while Maj Gen Abel Kandiho was appointed to replace him. However, Museveni according to security sources has indicated that the position of chief of joint staff is not necessary for the police force and he is planning to scrap it even though he is the one who created it in 2019.

Other appointments include that of SCP David Waiswa who was assigned to head the directorate of counter-terrorism. He replaces Byakagaba who has become the new Inspector General Of Police(IGP), and SCP Ubaldo Bamunoba has been appointed as the new chief political commissariat (CPC) replacing SCP Namutebi.

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