There are hushed grumbles among police officers after one of the new police housing blocks in Naguru headquarters was named after the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen Edward Kale Kayihura.
The construction of the 1,020 housing units was launched by Kayihura in 2016. Kayihura had envisaged the construction to be complete in 2018 but was dramatically sacked by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on March 4, 2018, and replaced by his deputy Martins Ochola who has since been steering the force. Kayihura is still battling espionage allegations and has been placed under house arrest at his Kasagama home in Lyatonde and barred from making any movements without authorisation.
Ochola and minister for Internal Affairs, Maj Gen (rtd) Kahinda Otafiire are expected to commission the housing units this week on Thursday. The police engineering and logistics directorate currently headed by AIGP Richard Edyegu named the central block of the housing units after Kale Kayihura.
Police officers at Naguru police headquarters have been excited about the ‘central’ building being named after their former boss. When one stands at the second entrance of police headquarters or along the Katalima road which connects to Ntinda Stretcher, you visibly see the Kale Kayihura Block outstanding among others.
“He deserves to be named after these housing units. He was the architect and he left the resources in place. In fact, if he had not been fired, these houses would have been completed and occupied at the end of 2018,” said a senior superintendent of police.
Another police officer at the rank of superintendent of police (SP) argued that it is even wrong for the police leadership to name other blocks after other previous IGPs yet the whole project was engineered by Kayihura.
“All these blocks should have been called Gen Kale Kayihura police housing units. It is all his work and deserved the whole credit. In fact, whatever key structure that is here (Naguru) is Kayihura’s efforts,” the SP said.
Apart from Kayihura, two other blocks have been named after the first black IGP Erinayo Wilson Oryema, and the reigning IGP Ochola. Born on January 1, 1917, Erinayo was appointed IGP on April 1, 1964, replacing M J Macoun. However, Erinayo became a minister during President Idi Amin’s regime even though his life was brutally allegedly ended by the same regime in 1977.
But it's the Kayihura block that has become the talk of the housing project. Kayihura was IGP from 2005 up to 2018, making him the longest IGP ever after being at the helm for over 12 years.
By the time Kayihura was fired, he had increased numbers in the police force from 14,000 to 46,000, built the police headquarters, built the forensic building, procured the Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras, and started the construction of the National CCTV Command Centre and various police stations albeit amidst corruption and bribery procurement allegations
Ochola served as the CID director and deputy to Kayihura for two terms of three years. So far, Ochola has added 10,000 police officers and has overseen the completion of the housing units set to be commissioned next week.
There has been a lot of speculation about who is going to occupy the housing blocks after rumours spread that two blocks had been turned into offices of the counter terrorism (CT) directorate headed by AIGP Abbas Byakagaba, the directorate of information communication technology (ICT) headed by SCP Yusuf Ssewanyana and environmental protection police unit (EPPU). But SCP Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, said all that was intended to discredit the achievements the force has registered.
Another rumour about the housing units has been that they are going to be occupied by AIGPs and other senior police officers. However, the Ppolice force chief political commissariat (CPC) Hadijah Namutebi reaffirmed that the housing units are meant for inspectorates up to constables.