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Newly appointed Deputy Inspector General of Police Maj Gen Paul Lokech says he regrets the May incident when he allegedly confronted with a senior traffic police officer on Namugongo Road, Kira Municipality in Wakiso District arguing that he is coming with clean and to serve in the police force.
In the scuffle which ensued near Club Agenda 2000, the Major General, who was then dressed in civilian clothes, allegedly lost his cool, stormed out of the car slapping the senior traffic officer on duty and allegedly pulled out his firearm.
He would later be detained at Kampala Central Police Station. It took the intervention of Kampala Metropolitan police commander Moses Kafeero to solve the matter as ASP Ruth Kyobutungi threatened to sue her assailant.
Although Maj Gen Lokech comes into Uganda police force with a wealth of experience in leadership, administration and command, the general public and several individuals within security circles have been questioning if baggage of being on record for assaulting a lady officer on duty will not undermine his moral authority to lead hold a senior leadership position n a disciplined institution. They fear that Lokech will be feared but not respected by police officers.
However, with three days in his new office now, the famed ‘Lion of Mogadishu’ who was interacting with the press for the first time at Naguru police headquarters said that he wishes the incident had never happened.
He, however, used the same podium to give his version of the incident. In his explanation, the soft-spoken Lokech intimated that the traffic officer was the one in wrong blaming her for having ‘exhibited unprofessionalism’. He, however, notes that he has since forgiven and now ready to mentor young officers to the right path.
When asked why he went to slap an officer on duty, with a smile the Lokech who broke the back of Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia when he was commander of UPDF contingent between 2011 and 2012, said that he is a man who has never killed a fly and therefore he never slapped the officer.
Using the incident as an example, Maj Gen Lokech says that there are a lot of operational mistakes by officers on duty singling out failure to identify themselves before arresting and charging a suspect among other standing orders, thus pointing out that with his arrival, this is to change.
Lokech is replacing Maj Gen Stephen Muzeeyi Sabiiti who was has served as D’IGP for two years and ten months. Gen Lokech was Chief of Staff of Uganda People’s Defence Air Force –UPDAF.
He previously served as part of the commanders of Uganda’s peace-keeping forces in South Sudan and also highly participated in Operation Safe Haven against rebels of Allied Democratic Front-ADF who were being commanded by the incarcerated Jamil Mukulu.