President Yoweri Museveni has for the first time spoken out on the rift between the police and the army.
The fight between the two agencies became more pronounced last year when they clashed at the home of Mbabazi Muhoza, a lady believed to be a girlfriend to the slain police spokesperson AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi in Lungujja, Rubaga division in Kampala district.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday at the Kawumu demonstration farm in Luweero district, Museveni said it is wrong for security agencies to be at loggerheads because they are meant to provide security to people.
“They (security agencies) are not the ones fighting but their heads and we shall not allow it,”Museveni said in Luganda while responding to a question from journalists on Wednesday evening.
“This should end because they are meant to fight the enemy and not themselves.”
Since the fight between the two agencies became pronounced, it was said by many that it was a battle for supremacy between the security minister Lt.Gen. Henry Tumukunde and the Inspector General of Police Gen.Kale Kayihura.
The rift between the two agencies became more pronounced in November following the re-arrest of two suspects alleged to have participated in the murder of AIGP Kaweesi after being released on bail by Nakawa grade one magistrate, Noah Ssajjabi.
Police denied involvement in the re-arrest but the army spokesperson would later clarify that they two had been apprehended in a joint operation involving various security agencies.
However, the then police spokesperson AIGP Asan Kasingye would later tell journalists that the two had been detained at their (police) facility in Nalufenya.
In January, the Chieftaincy of Military Investigations (CMI), the investigative arm of the army together with JATT would be involved in the arrest of the people suspected in the murder of Case Hospital accountant Francis Ekalungar, a role primarily meant for the police.
Museveni however said that these two security agencies should be working together for the benefit of the country and its citizens.
Asked on the reports of the country’s security agencies especially police being infiltrated by agents from neighboring countries, Museveni said this was wrong, adding that he could not allow such to happen.
“Security agencies should not be hijacked and should not start working for criminals. This is like AIDS which hijacks someone’s body,”Museveni said.
“We can’t allow political AIDS where security agencies work for criminals, foreigners or anybody who is not Ugandan.”
The president cited the arrest of senior police officers including SSP Nixon Agasiirwe and ACP Joel Aguma arrested recently by the army and are facing charges related to kidnap before the army court in Makindye.
He said the country cannot allow people misbehave in such a way.
“Whoever is involved will pay heavily because the duties of security agencies are clearly known,” he warned.
Museveni’s statements are a wakeup call to heads of the respective security agencies in regards to their relationship and their mandates.