Andrew Felix Kaweesi loved and hated within Police
He was one of the two youngest directors of police having joined in police 2001 together with Grace Akullo, another ‘young blood’ and maybe the most ‘hated’ commander in the Uganda Police Force.
At the age of 43, Kaweesi was only left to attain the rank of Inspector General of Police (IGP) having served in all the most important positions in the police structure and a favourite of his boss Gen Kale Kayihura as well as President Museveni.
Kaweesi, a hardworking and eloquent police commander was influential in the police as well as the business and political arena. But, that influence did not come cheaply; it came at the expense of personal relations with seniors and juniors in the police force.
Barely a day after his demise, some senior commanders in police speak with mixed feelings about his death. They are partly sad, but also equally speak with a sigh of relief. Kaweesi, his body guard and driver were brutally shot and killed yesterday a few metres from his home in Kulambiro in Kisaasi a Kampala suburb.
“Kaweesi’s assassination was terrifying, it brought a shiver all over my body but it’s the way he died that is sad, one of the directors told URN on condition of anonymity.
He added. “You cannot imagine how many feet he had to step on to attain what he had. Kaweesi cared about nothing else apart from money and power. He was willing to go to any length to attain what he wanted.”
But the fight with Kaweesi was mainly a battle for control of the business empires around Kampala. Some senior officers within the force developed misunderstandings with Kaweesi when in 2011, he was appointed the Director in charge Kampala Metropolitan policing area which covers; Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, Gayaza and Entebbe.
URN has learnt that during the time, a number of business empires approached him seeking his protection. Subsequently, a monthly protection fee was imposed for the service and payments were made directly to him and sometimes through his personal assistants.
“Even when he left his position in Kampala Metropolitan and Operations, he still collected this money from the businesses,” another director who has been in one of the offices Kaweesi moved from said.
“You can imagine going to a place like the Lufula, and they tell you they have talked to Kaweesi, yet crimes are being committed there,” he added.
Kaweesi was also among the richest police officers in the country, a fact he reportedly constantly threw in the face of the other commanders – even his seniors. URN has learnt that Kaweesi had scheduled to take his children to Walt Disney World Resort, an entertainment complex in Florida for holiday mid this year.
Andrew Felix Kaweesi’s home in Lwengo
The above, however were not the only reasons Kaweesi was passionately ‘hated’ by a number of officers in police. A source within police told URN that Kaweesi believed in the principle of divide and rule, and that was the way he commanded his juniors, creating loyalists who were willing to betray their colleagues to receive favours.
As such, the source says that deployments in ‘lucrative’ districts and regions depended on how loyal one was to Kaweesi. Those who were not favoured ‘hated’ Kaweesi even more.
While Kaweesi favoured some of his juniors, he came to be recognized as Kayihura’s blue-eyed boy having served as his personal assistant before he was sent to Kabalye Police Training School as the commandant.
Since then, he has always been favoured in deployment, praised by Kayihura openly, a fact that did not go down well with some members from his intake and his seniors.
A very active and hardworking officer with the command ability that most of his seniors lacked, Kaweesi’s capabilities were recognized in 2011 during the opposition-led walk-to-work demonstrations that had threatened to paralyse business and government operations in Kampala city. President Museveni granted Kaweesi a permanent and pensionable position as a Director of Police while his comrades were on contracts that were not pensionable.
While all other directors and even the IGP Kale Kayihura had to seek renewal of their contracts after every three years, Kaweesi and Grace Akullo, the director of Criminal Investigations were put on permanent employment. Predictably, this did not go well with some officials within the Police Force.
In 2015, Kaweesi was transferred from being the Director Operations to a newly created Directorate of Human Resource Development, a move that was seen as a loss of confidence in Kaweesi by Kayihura.
Another source who preferred anonymity so they can speak freely told URN that, Kaweesi’s woes arose from money that was given to him to distribute to National Resistant Movement (NRM) chairpersons in various districts but did not reach the recipients.
“Each one of us was supposed to receive Shs 25 million but all that money remained with him. That is how the information that he was working the former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi (who contested for presidency against President Museveni) reached Kayihura and the president. His powers were reduced immediately,” says the source.
But his talents were more important than any suspicion on his loyalty and he was a few months later put in charge of the police public relations department when the image of the force and its boss was so tainted.