IGP Abbas Byakagaba Halts Police Promotions amid Corruption Concerns

IGP Abbas Byakagaba Halts Police Promotions amid Corruption Concerns

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Abbas Byakagaba has put a halt to the promotion of over 300 senior police officers, citing corruption concerns. Sources reveal that Byakagaba, upon taking office, discovered a lengthy list of officers awaiting promotion. The list required his signature before being sent to the Police Authority and then to the President for final approval.

Byakagaba meticulously reviewed the list, expressing dissatisfaction with the selection criteria. His predecessor, Martin Okoth Ochola, had also refused to sign the promotion list, questioning its legitimacy.

A senior police official at Naguru confirmed Byakagaba’s concerns about the criteria used for promotions. “I am not satisfied with the way officers were shortlisted for promotion and I cannot hurry to sign,” Byakagaba reportedly stated. He ordered a fresh vetting process to ensure fairness and transparency.

Byakagaba was particularly troubled by instances where officers had been promoted multiple times within a short period. He emphasized that promotions should be based on merit, experience, and a clean record. Officers seeking promotion must have served in their current rank for at least five years, completed necessary courses, and demonstrated integrity.

The IGP stressed that young officers who have not served for ten years should not be fast-tracked for promotions. “Let them undergo courses and be promoted later,” he insisted. Officers with over twelve years of service and a good record would be prioritized.

Byakagaba’s decision follows reports of senior officers bribing to secure higher ranks, anticipating vacancies due to upcoming retirements. These officers allegedly sought to position themselves for lucrative roles by leveraging connections with influential ministers and UPDF generals.

The halted promotion process and the subsequent fresh vetting come with stringent conditions to curb corruption. A new vetting team has been formed, and its members remain undisclosed. Recently, President Museveni warned Byakagaba about rising corruption and bribery within the police force. Byakagaba assured the President of his commitment to addressing these issues and restoring integrity within the force.

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