By Mike Ssegawa
The African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (Afripol) have written to the government of Uganda explaining how ACP Jonathan Baroza went missing while on duty. He did not say “good byes’.
Afripol wrote to the Uganda embassy after Kampala demanded to know the whereabouts of ACP Jonathan Baroza, now a wanted man in Kampala.
The agency now says, Mr Baroza’s case has been handed to the African Union for further management, after he left his duty unceremoniously. Afripol however explains in a letter that Baroza disappeared after receiving communication that he was wanted in Kampala by the Inspector General of Police.
Police boss IGP Martin Okoth Ochola last week gave Baroza two weeks to report in Kampala or be pronounced a deserter. However there have been behind the scenes efforts to exhaust avenues to ensure the former aide to Gen Kale Kayihura is fully accounted for, especially that his disappearance from an international duty is disgraceful.
This website yesterday reported that Uganda’s ministry of internal affairs wrote to the ministry of foreign affairs seeking answers from Algeria, the last posting of Mr Baroza, over his whereabouts.
In a letter which showed the ministry of foreign affairs did not know what Baroza was doing in Algeria, Mr Mark Seremba wrote to the Uganda embassy in Algiers asking them to account for the Uganda Police officer.
However, Mr Baroza has never worked at the Embassy since his posting was at the Afripol secretariat, which operates under the African Union, and the ministry of foreign affairs should have known that protocol.
It has also emerged that Baroza’s secondment was not handled from Uganda’s embassy in Algiers, but, in Addis Ababa. This was contained in the letter Afripol responded to the inquiry made about Baroza by the embassy in Algiers.
Watchdog Uganda has seen a letter from Afripol explaining how ACP Baroza came to be employed by Afripol and circumstances under which he went missing from his duty station.
In a July 19, 2018 letter to the Ugandan embassy, Afripol wrote the following:
The secretariat of the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (Afripol) presents its compliments to the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Algeria and has the honour to communicate the following:
It can be recalled that the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Addis Ababa, forwarded the letter from the inspector general of police of the Republic of Uganda nominating Mr Jonathan Baroza, Assistant Commissioner of Police, for secondment to the Afripol secretariat, via Note Cerbale Ref: XC/AD/27, dated 7 August 2017. Mr Baroza was subsequently issued a contract as senior counter terrorism officer with Afripol, valid from 15 September 2017 to 14 september 2018, SAP Personnel No. AHRM/116/6196.17.
In the course of executing his duties, Mr Baroza was nominated to represent Afripol at a High Level Meeting of the chiefs of Police from Central and West Africa on Strengthening Cooperation in the Fight Against Transnational Organised Crime” that was held in Brazzaville, Congo, from 13-14 June 2018.
However, the Afripol secretariat received an email from the Afripol National Liaison Officer office of Uganda on 13 June 2018, informing that Mr Baroza was urgently required to meeting the inspector general of Uganda police force. A ticket was also sent, a copy of which is here attached. The information was transmitted to Mr Baroza accordingly. It is, however, noted that whereas Mr Baroza was expected back in Algiers on 16 June, according to his ticket, he has not reported back to office to date.
This is to, therefore, inform the esteemed embassy on the situation. It is also noted that the African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, is also informed of the matter and is taking appreciate (sic. Appropriate) steps to communicate with the government of Uganda on it.
The secretariat of the African Union Mechanism for Police Cooperation (Afripol) avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Embassy of the Republic of Uganda in Algeria the assurances of its highest consideration.
Baroza is wanted for questioning by security authorities on a number of issues that took place in the police force while he was in service in Kampala.
Several reports had insinuated that Baroza was one of the officers arrested in relation to the kidnap of Rwandan refugees and over the death of former police spokesman Andrew Felix Kaweesi among other things. Most of his colleagues who surrounded the former IGP Gen Kale Kayihura are under detention.
Baroza last week spoke for the first time to the press, giving an interview to online publications Chimpreports. He said he was seeking asylum in Europe.
Baroza used the chance of being stationed out of the country to evade the catastrophe which befell his colleagues, especially in the aftermath of his boss’s un-ceremonial arrest from Kashagama. Among Gen Kayihura’s aides under detention are Nixon Agasiirwe, Flying Squad operative; Joel Aguma, head Police Professional Standards Unit; Lt Col Ndahura Atwooki, former crime intelligence chief; Richard Ndaboine, former cyber security chief; Herbert Muhangi, former Flying Squad Commander Good Mwesigwa, former director classified equipment.