The inspector general of police (IGP), Kale Kayihura has issued a warning to police officers of all ranks against giving information to sister security agencies without authority from the force.
The warning was issued in a message signed by Kayihura on Thursday night, addressed to all unit commanders and police personnel.
According to Kayihura, individual officers have been conspiring on their own or being summoned by sister security agencies like the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF), Internal Security Organisations (ISO), Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and others to divulge divulge information without official authority.
"Such conduct undermines the authority of the police administration and contravenes the police code of conduct, the official oath and the oath of secrecy," reads the message in part.
It adds, "this is to warn all personnel involving themselves in such misconduct to stop forthwith. Disciplinary action shall be taken against all those involved such acts."
The warning message comes at time when the police top management is at loggerheads with ISO which operates under the ministry of Security headed by Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde. The fight seems to have incorporated the entire army. Tumukunde and Kayihura have on several occasions come out into the open to criticise each other's method of work.
Recently, the army through its judicial systems arrested and tried several police officers for crimes committed years ago which the police force had since investigated and shelved.
The investigation that ultimately led to the arrest and prosecution is believed to have been based on intelligence information.
The army also a month ago arrested members of Boda Boda 2010, an association patroned by Kayihura and headed by Abdallah Kitatta a close friend of the IGP.
This week, the minister Justice and Constitutional Affairs Kahinda Otafiire asked the security officers to stop fighting from the public. President Yoweri Museveni also promised to rein in the security officers. Museveni said the fight was by individuals and not institutions.
The two generals (Tumukunde and Kayihura) have allegedly had a long-standing rift since 2005 when Kayihura oversaw Tumukunde’s arrest and subsequent prosecution in the Army Court Martial for abuse of office and spreading harmful propaganda.
Tumukunde, then an army MP, had spoken out on Radio One political programme, Spectrum against the amendment of the Constitution to remove presidential term limits.
At the time, Tumukunde was cultivating a risky reputation as a regime critic from his perch as one of the 10 army MPs. The dramatic arrest was sanctioned based on a report Kayihura, who was thriving as the blue-eyed military assistant to Museveni, and chief political commissar of the UPDF, had written.
Tumukunde was sentenced to a serious reprimand, subjected to the twin humiliation of a lengthy detention at the Kololo officers’ mess. He was also withdrawn from the cushy position of representing the army in parliament.
That same year (2005), Kayihura was promoted to major general and appointed police chief, an office he has enthusiastically used to brutally clamp down on political opposition to Museveni’s presidency.
Ten years later, Tumukunde was back in favour. In 2015, Museveni was assembling forces to counter the unusual leadership challenge presented by his long-time confidant, former prime minister Amama Mbabazi.
Museveni set Tumukunde to work, infiltrating and neutralising Mbabazi’s considerable networks. His long-held wish to retire from the army was also finally granted in September that year, with a promotion from brigadier to lieutenant general.
In July 2016, a new cabinet was announced in which he was named security minister, a docket that brought a rehabilitated Tumukunde into direct confrontation with the police chief.