The new Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Abbas Byakagaba, has promised to do his best to ensure total security during the Pope’s visit.
Byakagaba was appointed Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander on Wednesday replacing Commissioner Benjamin Namanya.
He is among the most highly trained police officers in counter terrorism in the country.
He has undergone several training in the Federal Bureau Investigations academy in the US, and he was formerly the director of Counter Terrorism.
He supervised the Counter Terrorism security during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2007.
Speaking while officially assuming the new office, Byagaba said his deployment in Kampala is not only about the Pope’s visit but also ensuring the security goals in Uganda Vision 2040 are attained.
Last month, police and other security agencies started deployment of officers, who will participate in providing security during Pope Francis’ visit slated for November 27th-29th.
Namugongo Martyrs shrine and Munyonyo are some of the places Pope Francis is expected to visit and over a million people are expected to attend mass.
Counter Terrorism officers have often taken charge of the security whenever there are events at Namugongo especially on Martyrs’ Day celebrations.
This will be the third time a pontiff is visiting Uganda. The first Papal visit was in 1969 and in 1993, Pope John Paul II also visited Uganda.
Pope Francis is known for using modest means of transport and sometimes makes surprise visits to the common people, which get security off-guard.
Story by Andrew Bagala