I carry with me fond memories, says Ochola

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The outgoing Inspector General of Police, John Martins Okoth Ochola has said he leaves the force with his head high.

Speaking during the ceremony to hand over office after expiry of his contract, Ochola said he has enjoyed every moment as the Inspector General of Police but also as a police officer.

“I step into the next chapter of my life, I carry with me the fond memories of our accomplishments. May the Uganda Police Force  continue to be a beacon of excellence and a force for positive change in the enforcement of law and order,” Ochola said on Monday.

Having joined the force in 1988 as a cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police, Ochola has enjoyed an illustrious career in the police.

In 2018, Ochola who was then the Deputy Inspector General of Police was appointed by President Museveni as the police chief.

He has served in the position for two  three- year terms that ended today, March, 4 and he chose to retire.

Speaking on Monday, Ochola said the task ahead was clear-professionalising and rebuilding the image of the force.

He said he is happy to have achieved this.

“Anchoring on teamwork, support and guidance from the President and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, we were able to register numerous achievements in policing as well as creating a general atmosphere of calmness, togetherness and a sense of belonging we are witnessing today. The numerous achievements spelt out in my handover report and by the various directorates, were made possible working with a wonderful team and dedicated officers, across all ranks, who gave their best in ensuring that the Institution succeeded in fulfilling its constitutional mandate,” Ochola said.

 Retirement

Whereas President Museveni had wanted to retain him as the police chief, Ochola personally informed him that he wanted to end his tour of duty in the police.

Speaking on Monday, Ochola admitted that on January, 3, 2024, he wrote to the Internal Affairs Minister requesting to end his tour of duty “due to personal and domestic issues that require my personal attention.”

“Today, I am delighted to be standing before you this day to give my stewardship report and handover leadership of this great Institution to the new Inspector General of Police.”

Hails Museveni

Ochola hailed President Museveni for appointing him the Inspector General of Police, a position desired by many police officers  but a few attain.

“I want to take a moment to thank his leadership and support during my time in office. It has been a great honour to serve under his guidance as Commander- in- Chief. His vision for a safer and more secure Uganda, devoid of violence and crime has been inspirational not only to me alone but other Police officers as well.”

Ochola also hailed the Police Authority headed by the Internal Affairs Ministers for supporting and guiding him for the six years as the police chief.

He said during this time, a lot has been achieved, partly due to their support.

“To my fellow current service chiefs, our predecessors, serving and retired Police officers across all ranks and designations, civilian staff working with the Uganda Police and other officers working with sister security Agencies over and over again, I say a big thank you to all for your time, resources and contribution in securing our country during my term of service.”

He also applauded the  Police Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) members and the Police Council delegates for the great support.

He said working as a team, they  were able to review the force’s policies, assess implementation levels and formulated strategies to overcome the dynamic policing demands of the ever-changing environment.

“Distinguished guests, not all Institutional challenges could be solved in the six years of my tenure.  Therefore, there are other unfinished critical issues that hinder professional policing which the new administration can accomplish. Some are outlined in this handover report.”

 

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