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UGANDA: Internal Security Organisation rejects Police Chief Kayihura ban on information sharing

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KAMPALA (DAILY MONITOR) – The Internal Security Organisation (ISO) director general has dismissed as ‘laughable’ police chief Kale Kayihura’s directive banning police officers from sharing information with sister security agencies.
In an internal memo issued on Wednesday, Gen Kayihura threatened to prosecute any police officer who gives information to any other security agency without his authorisation.

Gen Kayihura said he had established that some police officers were sharing information with other security agencies without authorisation and this contravenes the police code of conduct and secrecy laws. But ISO chief Col Frank Bagyenda Kaka dismissed the ban, saying he does not want to even believe that his counterpart issued such a directive. He insisted security agencies must cooperate in order to protect citizens.

The police’s sister security agencies include ISO and Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), an investigative arm of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).

“Let me hope it is just a rumour or a forged document because people are fond of forging documents of different people, including some pertaining to myself. But if it’s true, it would be laughable to say one will work in isolation. As security agencies, we must coordinate to deliver security. Our methods of work may differ, but we have to share information and compare notes so that we can be able to make sense of it,” Col Kaka said.

But police spokesperson Emilian Kayima yesterday said Gen Kayihura’s order was only a reminder to all police officers to behave and communicate when authorised.
“Basically, it’s a reminder to ensure discipline among us all disciplined forces, particularly the Uganda Police Force,” Mr Kayima said.

In Gen Kayihura’s memo, he indicated that police officers conspire on their own or are summoned by sister security agencies and divulge information without official authority. Gen Kayihura added that such conduct undermines the authority of the police administration and contravenes the police disciplinary code of conduct, the official oath and oath of secrecy.

Asked on whether ISO has ever secretly interrogated police officers, Col Kaka said he had no reason for secretly interrogating police officers because his directorate and police are not in competition.
“How can I secretly summon police officers? What would be the interest? We don’t work in competition; it’s one government we’re serving. We are supposed to deliver this product called security together,” Col Kaka said.

UPDF speaks out
Army spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire said Gen Kayihura’s directive was in exercise of his supervisory role because he is entitled to guide his officers since every institution has its own standards of operation.

“He is streamlining his officers in the way he wants them to work; he’s the head of police and can guide them accordingly,” Brig Karemire said.

On whether the police chief’s directive could hamper collaboration among security agencies, or whether the army has been secretly interrogation police officers, Brig Karemire said: “That will not affect us at all. On whether we’ve ever summoned police officers for interrogation, I will not speak because he did not name the UPDF.”

CMI last year arrested senior police officers on allegations of kidnapping Rwandan refugees and illegally extraditing them to Rwanda. The police officers arrested included Senior Commissioner of Police Joel Aguma, and Senior Superintendent of Police Nickson Agasirwe, who are facing a range of charges in the General Court Martial, and are still on remand.
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