Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga asking that Parliament blocks the appointment of Brig Sabiiti Muzeei to the position of the Deputy Inspector General of Police.
Brig Sabiiti, a military officer who was formerly Commandant of the Military Police was recently appointed by President Yoweri Museveni as the new deputy IGP in a reshuffle that saw IGP Kale Kayihura axed and his deputy Okoth Ochola elevated to be his successor.
However, in a petition written to Speaker Kadaga, Democratic Party politician, Nambooze says that Brig Sabiiti is not suited for the appointment, accusing him of being involved in the infamous attack on Parliament last year.
Nambooze has asked that the Speaker probes into claims that Sabiiti was part of the security operatives that raided the Parliament chamber in September 2017 and assaulted opposition legislators during the debate on the contentious proposal to remove Presidential age limits from the Constitution.
“The media in profiling Brig Sabiiti reveals that he featured prominently as one of the masterminds of the attack on Parliament which left me and others brutalized and permanently disabled,” MP Nambooze says in her petition dated March 6.
“Given the fact that the men and women in the media experienced the invasion first hand and are the key witnesses to it and drawing from their impartiality, I have no reason to doubt the reports,” she further states.
Currently, a Parliamentary Appointments Committee chaired by Kadaga is in the process of vetting Brig Sabiiti and the two other appoitees; Okoth Ochola (IGP) and Gen Elly Tumwine (Security Minister).
Nambooze seeks that the Appointments Committee causes “a thorough investigation into the character and credentials of the appointee [Sabiiti] with a view of establishing his role in the unfortunate attack on Parliament determining his suitability for such a critical office and the motive of his appointment”.
However, although the September attack on Parliament has been attributed to operatives attached to the Special Forces Command (SFC) which Brig Sabiiti served as deputy commander, it should be clarified that at the time of the attack, Sabiiti had already been transferred to Military Police.
Furthermore, Nambooze wants Parliament to disapprove what she calls the continued appointment of military offices to positions of Police.
In the petition, the opposition legislator demands that; “Parliament should desist from being used to aid the militarization of the Police equally as we wouldn’t in any way assent to a situation where Police officers too command the military”.
Accordingly, she seeks that Parliament advises President Museveni who is the appointing authority to recommit the Uganda Police Force to the hands of career police officers “given the dissimilar orientation in the two Forces”.
Nambooze says that the mandates of the Police and the Military are distinctly different since the former serves and protects the people while the latter fights enemies of the state. According to the MP, when the military is allowed to become both, the enemies of the state then become the people.