It is no longer business as usual on Naguru Hill, or at any police station in the country. Exactly four months after he was named Deputy Inspector General of Police, General Paul Lokech has sent a shiver down the spines of senior and junior police officers.
Word descending from Naguru Hill where the Police is headquartered has it that the ‘Lion of Mogadishu’ has compiled a list of 120 most corrupt police officers who are going to be dismissed as the general marks four months in office, having been appointed on December 16th, 2021.
Lokech who already showed the 47,000 strong force what seriousness means from the way he secured the January 14th general election by knowing what was happening everywhere down to arresting SFC soldiers who were being misused by a minister in Mukono, is believed to be preparing a nasty surprise for police officers, junior and senior, who have perpetuated the corruption culture.
Although the list of the 120 most corrupt officers is still strictly confidential, it is believed that more than half are CID officers. While the general public is mostly aware of the small bribes taken by traffic policemen, the most dangerous corruption in the force is committed by investigating officers who trade in information with defence lawyers.
Lokech is determined to strike at the very heart of corruption where the actors operate in the dark.
One may ask why the Deputy IGP is operating in such a manner. But the police system is arranged in such a way that officers above the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) are not subjectable to procedures of the Professional Standards Unit.
To challenge them over their (mis) conduct is an elaborate procedure which rarely takes place as it requires the assembling of committees of very senior officers. But even junior officers have recourse to appeal to higher disciplinary tribunals. In short, the tedious bureaucracy is not about to allow Lokech clean up the force, which for years is listed as the most corrupt institution in public perception surveys.
With Lokech ready to ‘burst’ the list anytime, the legal directorate of police are also preparing to take on any suits that may arise as some of the affected officers may choose to sue for wrongful dismissal. Of course this is risky as the force may produce evidence and witnesses to pin them. But could count on the slow nature of the judicial process and buy time and continue enjoying the benefits of their ranks pending the determination of their cases that may take years.
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