Uganda Police fire officer in leaked photo of Museveni
Ugandan police have fired one of its handful of CCTV security camera network experts, a year after accusing him of leaking a photo showing senior judicial officials meeting the President Museveni shortly before the judgment of the petition for the general elections of 2021.
Ugandans held a presidential vote on January 12, 2021 and the Supreme Court upheld the victory of incumbent President Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni as the flag bearer of the opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, who came second, sought to cancel.
Bobi Wine, citing the court’s bias, asked on February 22 to withdraw his petition. This was days after BM TV Africa and Olujjuliro TV posted a photo on their Facebook pages of a motorcade of the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice — which were part of the election case. president of Coram—and senior state judge Maison Entebbe.
The timing of the meeting raised concerns, prompting the Judiciary in a February 21, 2021 statement to clarify that its top bosses traveled to State House on February 10 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Judge Margaret Apiny as a judge of the High Court.
“It is important to note that this was an official ceremony [in] the full glare of the media – there was nothing secret about it. We condemn the publication of such lies for any reason,” judiciary spokesman Jamson Karemani said at the time.
At the police, investigators led by SP John Bosco Ozele arrested PC John Andiandu whom they detained for a month, without formally charging him in court, contrary to the constitutional threshold of 48 hours.
Police seized his cell phone, which is believed to be still in custody to this day.
Senior police officers briefed on the case suggested to this newspaper that the image of the judiciary leaders was extracted from an ANPR camera system using login credentials belonging to a superintendent of the police which has since been transferred to the Police Crime Intelligence Directorate.
The officer was reportedly neither arrested nor tried. We have not been able to independently verify these claims.
After months of lull, the Police Subordinate Disciplinary Tribunal at a session on August 11, 2021 at the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) headquarters in Kibuli, Kampala, convicted Constable Andiandu and recommended his dismissal .
He appealed the decision, which was not heard. Instead, five months later, on January 13, 2022, a single Faith Nangoma, on behalf of Inspector General of Police Martins Okoth-Ochola, issued a summary dismissal letter for the officer.
Officers dodge the letter
The letter did not reach the Commander of the Aviation Police, to whom it was addressed, until three months later — April 11, 2022.
An officer who signed a handwritten note on it without stating his name or position, on March 11 asked the commander of the aviation police to “recover government assets” from the fired officer.
The commander, however, forwarded the matter to the Entebbe Police Divisional Commander, noting that it had been “wrongly” brought for their action.
Police officers familiar with ping-pong said Ms Nangoma had not provided details of the disciplinary misconduct that led to PC Andiandu’s dismissal.
She wrote: “This is to inform you that the Police (Subordinate) Appointments/Promotions Board, by virtue of its Minute No 71/08/11/2021, has ordered that you be discharged from the force with effect [from] 08/11/2021. »
This would suggest that if the decision to take the policeman out was taken on the day of his interrogation, it was for unexplained reasons which have not been communicated to him for almost six months.
Our attempts to speak to PC Andiandu, who has been deprived of pensions, gratuities and/or other retirement benefits, have been unsuccessful. We also failed to reach Ms. Nangoma, who wrote the dismissal letter, for details of the case.
In a telephone interview yesterday, police spokesman Fred Enanga said he was surprised that PC Andiandu, who ran the Kampala Metropolitan South CCTV network last year, had been fired.
“Dismissal? Do they just reject people like that? This should be a disciplinary matter. I’ll try to find out because it’s not on my desk. It’s a disciplinary matter that hasn’t come to my table yet because if I don’t have a copy then I need to know,” he said.
The Kampala Metropolitan South CCTV team has been caught in the crosshairs of high-stakes politics and an apparent security breach as the virtual security network they monitor covers Kampala Central Police Station (CPS), the Ugandan Parliament, State Lodge Nakasero, the capital’s central business district and surrounding areas. , extending to State House Entebbe and Entebbe International Airport, making it the busiest and most critical area of the metropolis.
It was there that the police, confident in the ability of PC Andiandu and his team, deployed him and others to oversee the Big Brother analysis.
According to police records, the fired officer led a team in 2020 that set up CCTV equipment, which includes a camera, power cubes, access points (APs) and a remote terminal ( RT).
The team installed CCTV equipment from Njeru in Buikwe district to Uganda’s Busia and Malaba border posts with Kenya as well as parts of Karamoja, Teso and Acholi sub-regions.
The Divided Police
Senior sources said senior police leadership was divided over the technician’s dismissal, with some questioning how he was fired.
Others are uncomfortable that an officer of his pedigree could be left at a time when the police security camera network is troubled by fiber cuts and operational issues which, combined, have created looping black holes and crippling the ability of the police to provide comprehensive surveillance of the capital. .
This post uncovered the story of failing cameras and limited staff last month, and ran a detailed follow-up last week.
A source at the police’s ICT directorate told this newspaper that PC Andiandu was one of the “most qualified and experienced” technicians managing the camera network.
“We have few officers qualified in this area and this [his dismissal] is likely to affect network management,” the source said.
Another source said PC Andiandu’s outing was unusual as the police, contrary to practice, did not send the wireless transmission message to his base about it.
This post in an exclusive published last week revealed how the CCTV camera network, installed by order of President Museveni in response to the high-profile killings in Kampala, suffered from multiple blind spots.
The story tells how the Ugandan police are currently overwhelmed with how to solve a litany of problems over the security infrastructure.
Sources at Police Headquarters in Naguru, a suburb of Kampala, said they lay out our accusations and counter-accusations among senior police officers and the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Major General Tumussime Katsigazi, who had previously downplayed our first report on CCTV project issues, summoned Acting ICT Director Yusuf Ssewanyana to explain what was wrong.
We couldn’t get the meeting details.
In yesterday’s telephone interview, Mr Enanga said our reporting was “inaccurate”, but he did not respond to any details, promising to do so today or tomorrow.
Our investigations revealed that the project is currently plagued by corruption, limited resources and manpower, among other challenges.
For example, five CCTV cameras in Nakawuka in the Wakiso district were reportedly disconnected from the network for almost a year despite several reminders to management by technicians.
Some of the city’s police divisions and stations, another source said, experienced nearly three-week power outages due to fiber cuts that connect the cameras to the main network of the national CCTV command center at headquarters. police in Naguru, Kampala.
It is also alleged that some senior officers pocket money paid by arrested vandals, including drivers who smash camera poles, instead of using it to repair cameras.
Accounts offered last week by sources familiar with the operation of security cameras show that Kampala Metropolitan South and North, where the city center is located, have the worst network of CCTV cameras.
The problem of failed cameras was most reported in Nsangi district of Wakiso, where more than half of the 98 cameras are malfunctioning, creating a partial surveillance black hole over Nabbingo, Kitemu, Buddu Junction, Nalumunye, Hana Junction and Kyengera Town Council.
Insiders have revealed that the effectiveness of CCTV cameras in the Kampala metro area is said to have dropped by 18 percentage points over three months from 80% in the past.
More functional cameras are reported in East Kampala Metropolitan Area than in South and North Metropolitan Area.
The problem isn’t just off-grid cameras. The police reportedly have no budget for the vast infrastructure; thus, routine maintenance is lacking and no company has been hired to carry out the repair work.
As a result, most network links go down for days without being repaired because repairs require highly trained personnel, also in short supply in the police.
THE CCTV PROJECT
The National CCTV Network Expansion Project began in 2018 and was partly funded by a $104m (Shs369b) loan the government took out from Standard Chartered Bank.
The government decided to install the spy cameras at the behest of President Museveni, the commander-in-chief, following inconclusive investigations into the growing number of murders of notable citizens.