President Museveni has hailed the deceased Deputy Inspector General of Police, Gen Paul Lokech as a rare breed whom he said succeeded where many failed.
“I, personally, as Commander-in-Chief, either heard of or worked closely with Lokech three times, where he did meritorious service. On one occasion, I was in Gulu with the anti-LRA operations. I was informed that there was a commander that routinely fought through LRA ambushes in the area between Atanga and Acholibur,”Museveni said.
“Second time, I heard of Lokech was when he was Contingent Commander in Somalia. The UPDF, under his command, made a historic contribution to peace in Africa when they defeated Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu. Remember that we had gone to Mogadishu not to fight but simply do peace-keeping by guarding the Sea-Port, Air-port and State House.”
The president was on Friday speaking to mourners during the burial of Gen Lokech at his ancestral home in Pader district in a speech read by the Internal Affairs Minister, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire.
According to Museveni, Lokech was a rare breed of officers who excelled wherever he worked, citing the recent deployment as the Deputy Inspector General of Police as one of the areas where the deceased succeeded.
“One of those measures (to fight crime) was the installation of the cameras. These cameras, make the work of fighting insecurity very easy. However, that is on condition that there are serious commanders and operators that are available for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to use the cameras. Until Lokech went to the Police, that was, apparently, not the case. Camera monitoring personnel would be playing cards (matatu), on social-media, etc,”Museveni said.
That is how crime would not be easily detected in spite of the presence of the cameras and other investigative means. The short time Lokech was in the Police, that all changed. Whenever there are security threats, I always get involved directly. With Lokech, it was so easy because I found an eager student in this policing job that was new to him. What is crucial is the attitude of care for the people and the country.”
The president hailed Gen Lokech whom he said also teamed up with the Crime Intelligence Director, Brig Christopher Ddamulira to deal with criminals, especially those involved in the attempted assassination on Gen Katumba Wamala.
Museveni said whereas in the past police commanders had not properly focused on how to deal with the criminals who were terrorizing the country, Lokech quickly studied the situation and consequently got to the top of it.
That is how, in the case of Gen. Katumba, we succeeded. Although the criminals used their shallow tactics of covering their heads, on account of Lokech’s concentration, together with some of his colleagues like Ddamulira, some of the criminals were clearly identified and they went for them. Arresting some led to the identification of the others. This was a shock to the ADF because they had got used to the uncaring actors that would not dig deep even when the clues were abundant.”
Lokech’s clean record
The president also hailed the deceased Gen Lokech for being a clean officer who served his country with honour.
“I have not heard that Lokech was involved in selling army fuel which, sometimes, is a mistake that ruins the contribution of brave commanders. You cannot say that you are a brave commander but you sell Army fuel. How will the Army fight in modern war without fuel? It is bravery in nullity. You cannot be brave and corrupt because corruption will lead to our defeat by lacking what to use because it has been sold by our “brave” commander,”Museveni said.
“Lokech did his part in an exemplary way. Given his exemplary contribution for the last 30years and given the fact that he had done all the leadership courses up to National Defence College- South Africa) in 2010 and given that I have never heard reports of corruption about him, I hereby, using the authority given to the President by Articles 98 and 99 of the 1995 Constitution of Uganda, promote Major General Paul Lokech.”