Kayihura ally Bangirana defies IGP Ochola’s orders to leave office

Director of logistics and engineering, Godfrey Bangirana

Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Godfrey Bangirana has defied the Police chief, Martins Okoth Ochola’s directive to leave the office.

Whereas Ochola directed Bangirana to hand over office to his deputy, Richard Edyegu, Bangirana has defied the order and instead presented a letter prolonging his stay, pending renewal of his contract.

According to sources, the controversial letter is said to have come from the public service ministry. The letter reportedly allows Bangirana to stay in office despite the expiry of his contract. Efforts to speak to Bangirana proved futile as he did not pick calls to his known mobile phone numbers.

When contacted, however, the public service permanent secretary, Catherine Bitarakwate, disowned the said letter.  

“I am not aware of that letter. If it is there, it is a forgery. We do not have any authority as the public service to stay one’s contract in office when we are not their appointing authority.”

Bangirana is the Police director of logistics and engineering, which is in charge of all construction and logistical/ procurement in the force. In a recent Police advisory committee meeting, Ochola reportedly asked all directors whose contracts were due to expire to prepare to handover to their deputies.

Sources said the Police chief informed the meeting that the appointing authority (President Yoweri Museveni) had made it clear that contracts of all AIGPs that were due to expire will not be renewed.

The source revealed that at least four directors, whose contracts expired, have all left office, the latest being the Police’s undersecretary, Rodgers Muhirwa. This has created animosity in the Police force.

“We are wondering whether keeping Bangirana in office when his contract has expired is not tantamount to double standards when all his other colleagues were not accorded the same treatment,” observed a senior Police officer.

Besides Muhirwa, other directors who have since retired are Ahmed Wafuba, formerly in charge of oil and gas directorate; Fred Yiga, formerly in charge of International Police directorate and Fredrick Kiyaga, who had been on a foreign mission.

Last week, Ochola directed Bangirana, who is under a probe by the Inspectorate of Government over allegations of mismanaging procurement deals, to leave office immediately.

The probe stems from a whistleblower’s allegations to the inspectorate, including the purported inflation of the cost of construction of Nateete Police Station, which caused a financial loss of over sh200b to the force through the supply of fuel to individuals and accumulation of the institution’s debts to more than sh100b.

Bangirana applied to have his two-year contract renewed again through the secretary of the Police Authority recently, but that has not yet been done. His contract was last renewed on July 17, 2017, and expired on July 16, 2019.

In a July 19 letter to Bangirana, Ochola ordered the former to leave office, awaiting feedback from the Police Authority.

“Note that your continued stay in office is bound to raise several queries by the head of public service,” the Police boss stated.

Ochola ordered Bangirana to hand over the office on Monday, but he had not done so by last evening, as he was reportedly waiting for renewal. Speaking to journalists at the weekly police presser earlier, the force’s spokesperson, Fred Enanga, said the institution expected Bangirana to hand over anytime yesterday.

The IGG spokesperson, Ali Munira, said investigations against Bangirana were going on.

“I can confirm that we are still investigating those allegations. I cannot state when we shall be through with them, but it will be soon,” she added.