Emeritus IGP Ochola’s full speech as he hands over office

Countless thanks to my family for their understanding and support throughout my service in the Uganda Police Force.

Kampala:The emeritus Inspector General of Police (IGP), John Martins Okoth Ochola, has today handed over office following the expiration of his term.

He has handed over the office to the Deputy Inspector of Police, Maj. Gen. Tumusiime Katsigazi, who is receiving the office pending the appointment of the IGP.

Ochola’s full speech

On January 2, 2024, I made a service record of 36 years in the Uganda Police Force, having joined the institution on January 2, 1988. Within this period, which was climaxed by my appointment as Inspector General of Police, I was particularly fortunate to have served as a Deputy IGP, Director Special Duties, Director CID, Deputy Director CID, Commissioner Legal Department, Head of Complaints Desk, Head of Prosecution, and OC Entebbe Aviation Security.

On March 4, 2018, His Excellency The President appointed me as the Inspector General of Police, a position I assumed with humility, commitment, dedication, and determination. Three years after my appointment, the President extended my tour of duty for another three years, which ends today, March 4, 2024.

When I took over the steering of affairs of this great institution at about this time, exactly 6 years ago, the task was clear: professionalizing and rebuilding the image of the institution.

Anchoring on teamwork, support, and guidance from the President and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, we were able to register numerous achievements in policing as well as create the general atmosphere of calmness, togetherness, and a sense of belonging we are witnessing today.

The numerous achievements spelled out in my handover report and by the various directorates were made possible by working with a wonderful team and dedicated officers across all ranks who gave their best in ensuring that the institution succeeded in fulfilling its constitutional mandate.

Prior to this occasion, on January 3, 2024, I wrote to the Honorable Minister of Internal Affairs/Chairman Police Authority, requesting to conclude my tour of duty due to personal and domestic issues that required my personal attention.

Today, I am delighted to be standing before you to give my stewardship report and handover leadership of this great institution to the new Inspector General of Police.

First and foremost, allow me to express my deep personal appreciation and gratitude to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces for appointing and entrusting me with the leadership of this great institution.

I want to take a moment to thank him for his leadership and support during my time in office. It has been a great honor to serve under his guidance as Commander-in-Chief.

His vision for a safer and more secure Uganda, devoid of violence and crime, has been inspirational not only to me alone but to other police officers as well.

Distinguished guests, I also want to deeply thank the Uganda Police Authority, under the able leadership of the Honourable Minister of Internal Affairs, for its skillful efforts in supervising and guiding the police management over the past six years.

To my fellow current service chiefs, our predecessors, serving and retired police officers across all ranks and designations, civilian staff working with the Uganda Police, and other officers working with sister security agencies over and over again, I say a big thank you to all for your time, resources, and contribution in securing our country during my term of service.

I had a great team of Police Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) members that I have chaired for the past six years. Indeed, they have been great at fulfilling the assignments accorded to them by the Police Council. To the committee heads, you were wonderful and gave your best. I appreciate you all.

Similarly, I applaud the Police Council delegates that I have chaired for the same period. They all came out, attended meetings, made good presentations and deliberations, and gave their time whenever required. Consequently, working as a team, we were able to review the Force’s policies, assess implementation levels, and formulate strategies to overcome the dynamic policing demands of the ever-changing environment.

To the PAC and Police Council members and delegates, I say a big thank you once again.

I want to thank the development partners and several other stakeholders in fighting crime, including, among others, JLOS, Parliament, UHRC, the media fraternity, and all the people of Uganda, for their cooperation and support. We truly value your contribution, and thanks for praising us when we needed to be praised and for criticizing us when we needed to be criticized.

Countless thanks to my family for their understanding and support throughout my service in the Uganda Police Force.

Distinguished guests, not all institutional challenges could be solved in the six years of my tenure. Therefore, there are other unfinished critical issues that hinder professional policing that the new administration can address. Some are outlined in this handover report.

Finally, as I step into the next chapter of my life, I carry with me the fond memories of our accomplishments. May the UPF continue to be a beacon of excellence and a force for positive change in the enforcement of law and order.

To my successor and the incoming team, congratulations to you all. I wish you monumental success as you steer this institution to another level.

I say goodbye to everyone, and I wish you all and your families the best in life and God’s blessings.

Long live Uganda; long live the Uganda Police Force; long live everyone.

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