By: Benson Tumusiime, Daily Monitor
President Museveni has appointed Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga as the Kampala joint security operations coordinator reporting directly to the Commander in Chief.
UPDF deputy spokesperson, Lt Col Deo Akiiki, told the Daily Monitor that Maj Gen Muhanga will be the overall operations coordinator for all security agencies.
“This means he will be the link between joint operations of the police force, the military and intelligence agencies,” Lt Col Akiiki said on Friday.
At the time of his appointment, Maj.Gen Muhanga had just returned from a one-year course at South Africa’s National Defense College. He has previously served as the commander of Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) 2nd Division based at Makenke, in Mbarara District.
For more than two years, Muhanga was the UPDF Contingent commander in Somalia. During his tenure, he battled Al-Shabaab militias that had made AMISOM operations almost impossible with Improvised Explosive Devices commonly known as IEDs.
Maj Gen Muhanga’s assignments have started immediately and it is reported that he coordinated operations for the New Year celebrations in the Kampala metropolitan area.
President Yoweri Museveni has of recent put more emphasis on the Kampala metropolitan area that had almost been taken over by what he said violent criminals who had made some areas no-go zones for police.
Since the introduction of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security cameras, a command centre for both the military and police was established at the Kampala Central Police Station.
Whenever there are security threats, UPDF’s First Division Commander, Maj Gen Samuel Kawagga, Military Police commander Col Keith Katungi and Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Moses Kafeero, converge in the command centre where they devise means of handling situations.
A senior police commander intimated to the daily monitor that Maj.General Muhanga has been brought in to beef security coordination as the country heads to January 14 polls.
“It was resolved that all operations during the election period should involve military and police. There is a team of military and police personnel already prepared purposely to deal with all election-related security threats,” a senior police officer said.
Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga joins his fellow army men who are in charge of Kampala.
They include Maj Gen Paul Lokech, deputy IGP; Maj Gen Sam Kawagga, the commander of first division Kakiri; Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda, chief of staff land forces; Maj Gen Abel Kandiho, commander Chieftaincy of military Intelligence; Brig Gen CS Ddamulira, director crime intelligence in police.
Maj.Gen Muhanga comes in a fortnight after Museveni appointed Maj Gen Lokech to replace Maj Gen Steven Muzeyi Sabiiti as deputy IGP.
In his New Year’s address, President Museveni said he had deployed highly trained units that have been fighting Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) at the DR Congo border and the Al-Shabaab militias in Somalia to deal with security operations in areas which had been regarded as no-go zones for the “weak, corrupt police.”
He said part of their mission is to deal with hardcore criminals who were allegedly being used by some opposition politicians to intimidate civilians and wreak havoc in Kampala and other surrounding areas.