Police has defended the transfer of Hoima District Police Commander (DPC), Christopher Katumba, a few hours to to the hotly contested Woman Member of Parliament by-election now underway in that district.
According to police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, Katumba was transferred to the Environmental Protection Police Unit and replaced by DPC of Mubende District, Martin Okoyo.
“Mr. Katumba was not transferred due to political influence rather by institution’s policy framework in place that allows for transfers and postings of police officers to various posts.”
He said it was a placement committee’s decision, whose end goal is to appraise and monitor the performance of all officers, whether competent or incompetent, was set up, to ensure all transfers and postings, are transparent and merit based.
“The committee works independently and looks at features such as civil service values and code of ethics and conduct. Therefore, those who are attempting to bring propaganda in matters of our transfer and postings, must know that it is a prerogative of the placement committee, which should not be circumvented citing political influence,” he said.
Enanga said that bye elections taking place in Hoima and Kabong are isolated policing events, out of the wider initiatives in place. They are being policed, based on a policing plan and not tagged to an individual. So far, the polling exercise is progressing well in both electoral areas, without any significant crime and safety concerns.
“The appraisal and monitoring of all officers, is a key tool in our service delivery and development mandate. It also promotes clear linkages between the command and tactical levels and helps us build on our achievements and also address shortcomings,” he said.
The by-election is peddled at filling the vacancy left behind by the former district woman MP Kaahwa Tophace Byagiira who crossed to represent the newly created Kikuube district. The stiff competition is between NRM flag-bearer Harriet Businge Mugenyi and FDC’s Asinansi Nyakato, the joint opposition candidate for the Hoima Woman MP.
Recently, the opposition led by Dr. Kizza Besigye, Kyadondo east MP Robert Kyagulanyi and national resistance movement (NRM) led by its chairman who double as the president of the country Yoweri Museveni camped in the area to canvas support for their respective candidates.