David Pulkol, the former director general of External Security Organisation (ESO) has accused the police of taking sides at a time when the country is facing a political crisis over the age-limit bill.
Pulkol made the remarks during the national dialogue on the search for a democratic and accountable police service in Uganda organised by Human Rights Network Uganda (Hurinet).
Pulkol said: “The president keeps telling us that [Gen Kale] Kayihura is a good NRM cadre meaning in the eyes of the president, he is not a police officer but a cadre of the NRM.”
“His loyalty is to the party, so he is very partisan.”
According to the Constitution, the police is supposed to be non partisan, national in character, patriotic, professional, disciplined, productive and subordinate to the civilian authority.
Police has been condemned for brutality, torture and conducting illegal arrests especially of opposition members.
In the last five years, Uganda Human rights commission (UHRC) registered 1,572 cases of torture and police was responsible for the 1,016 of these cases.
The November 2017 Human Rights Network Uganda (Hurinet) report indicates that the public has lost confidence in the police.
41% of Ugandans have the perception that UPF largely does not observe human rights.
Personnel from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence recently arrested senior police officers over the illegal arrest of a Rwandan dissident.
Pulkol had reservations on how issues are being handled saying that there are other ways they can be solved.
“When I see police today, it looks like a human being that is suffering from multiple organ failure. An organ which is supposed to handle the standards of police is arrested; this means the police have so many challenges.” Said Pulkol
At the vigil of former police spokesperson AIGP Felix Kaweesi President Museveni asked Kayihura to clean the police accusing the force of harbouring criminals.
“The police force should have a system to check its operations and to scrutinise the people they recruit” Pulkol said.
Hurinet Uganda recommended the establishment of an independent police oversight authority to replace the Professional Stands Unit (PSU) and to follow principles of democratic policing with a purpose of re-orienting the police philosophy.