The new Deputy Inspector General of Uganda Police, Maj Gen Paul Lokech, has vowed to enforce professionalism in the police force describing a recent clash between police officers in Fort Portal as “unfortunate.”
On Thursday, the video circulated on social media showing a scuffle between presidential candidate John Katumba’s bodyguards and police officers in Fort Portal Police under the command of Kabarole/Fort Portal District Police Commander, SP Oesa John Faustine, following a disagreement over campaign routes.
The police officers flexed muscles and wrestled down their colleagues before the media leaving locals in astonishment. During the scuffle, Katumba’s body guards helped him escape arrest after a long fight.
In his maiden interaction with journalists at Naguru police headquarters, Maj. Gen Paul Lokech said the incident was caused by lack of professionalism and failure in command.
Maj. Gen. Lokech blamed Katumba’s security detail for acting unprofessionally which resulted into a serious clash.
“It is very unfortunate and I promise you, I will correct that. It’s just lack of professionalism and failure in command and control” Gen Lokech said. He stated that he was already handling the matter involving the police officers who were involved in the clash.
He said the police officers who were given to presidential candidates for protection should also coordinate with the commanders on the ground and therefore there was no reason why the two groups could have disagreed leading to the clash.
President Yoweri Museveni recently appointed Maj Gen Lokech was appointed as the new Deputy IGP replacing Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeyi who has been in office since March 2018 following the sacking of Gen Kale Kayihura from the position of IGP.
President Museveni has severally pointed out lack of professionalism in the police force as a weaknesses and the reason behind the reshuffles.
Before his appointment, Maj Gen Lokech was serving in South Sudan where he was deployed in November last year to monitor on behalf of the guarantors the South Sudan peace process, the assembling, screening, demobilization and integration of the armed forces.
He however is credited with a wealth of experience in leadership, administration and command having been one of the commanders who ferociously fought and weakened Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia when he was commander of UPDF contingent between 2011 and 2012.
Because of his relentless confrontation with Al-Shabaab insurgents and capturing key historical places like the Red Mosque in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, Lokech was nicknamed the ‘Lion of Mogadishu’.