Who is Martin Okoth Ochola? Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, early life, tribe, education and family of the current inspector general of police.
Martin Okoth Ochola is a Ugandan police officer, who serves as the inspector general of police (IGP) of the Uganda Police Force. Ochola assumed the office effective 4 March 2018 replacing General Kale Kayihura.
However, Ochola before his current position he served as the deputy inspector general of police, deputizing IGP Kayihura.
Early Life and Education
Martin Okoth Ochola was born on 19 September 1958, in Agimiti Village, Mulanda sub-county, West Budama County, in Tororo District. Ochola attended Abweli Primary School, then Rock View primary school and Kisoko boys primary school, where he sat his Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE).
After his primary education, Ochola joined Namilyango College, where he obtained both his UCE and UACE.
From Namilyango, Ochola was admitted at Makerere University, the largest and oldest public university on the land, to study Law and graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Laws degree.
The following year, Ochola obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice, from the Law Development Center (LDC).
Work and Experience
Martin Okoth Ochola worked as a Legal Assistant at the law firm of Career Owori & Company Advocates in Mbale Town, in Eastern Region of Uganda between October and December 1984. He was in a private law practice.
Thereafter, Ochola relocated to Kampala, Uganda’s capital city where he worked as a legal assistant in Kampala City Council (KCC) currently Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), for three years.
Ochola joined the Uganda Police Force in January 1988 and started a nine-month basic training.
At that time, he was given the rank of a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police. After the training, Ochola in February 1989 was posted to Entebbe International Airport as the Officer-in-charge of Airport security.
From there, he served at Entebbe Police Station, Buganda Road Court, where he worked for three years. He was then posted to police headquarters as the Acting Assistant Commissioner of police in the legal department and then promoted to superintendent of police.
In May 2001, Ochola was appointed the Deputy Director of Criminal Investigations and served in that capacity for seven years.
In 2008, he was promoted to Commissioner of Police. That same year, he was confirmed as director CID.
In 2009, he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police.
In August 2011, President Yoweri Museveni appointed him the Deputy Inspector General of Police. He served as the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), deputizing Kale Kayihura until 4 March 2018, when he replaced him as the new IGP.
When Police changed leadership from Gen. Kale Kayihura to Martin Okoth Ochola, many Ugandans celebrated saying the institution might change into a better force.
But the Police Force has remained the same, torturing innocent civilians, journalists and students at higher institutions of learning when it comes to field operations.
Police are being accused of engaging in partisan politics, totally against those in opposition.
Ochola on his first day in office reshuffled top police officers, directors and officers in Kampala metropolitan, a strange move that made people believe that he would change the force into something better.
In one of the most shocking reshuffles, he replaced then director for Kampala Metropolitan Police Grace Turyagumanawe with little known commissioner Andrew Felix Kaweesi (RIP).
The late Kaweesi by the time of appointment was serving as commandant for Masindi Police training school in Kabalye. Ochola trusted Kaweesi to oversee a litany of graduate officers that had been deployed in Kampala Metropolitan.
Kaweesi who was also returning from Kenya army school had undertaken a course on strategy, including quelling riots and dealing with deployment, for a year.
Also affected in Ochola’s first-day reshuffle was AIGP Fred Yiga who was moved from operations to human resource and consequently replaced by Turyagumanawe albeit in an acting capacity.
This reflected Ochola as a man who not only spotted young talent but a groomer. At one time Ochola suspended promotions in the force saying they were now looking at grooming more young talent internally.
Ochola on corruption
Ochola is a disciplinarian and has no kind words for corrupt officials. Onetime while closing a month’s CID induction course for Cadet Officers at Police Training School, Kibuli in February 2013, the Deputy IGP cautioned officers against corruption.
“If you resort to selfish private illegal accumulation of wealth which has caused problems to many Civil Servants today… if you believe in selfish private accumulation of wealth, then Police is warned on this (corruption),” Ochola remarked.
Until today, Ochola has been known as a disciplinarian even as the commander in chief of the Police Force that has a stained sheet, lost credit in all capacities, not forgetting the general lack of discipline among the men in uniform.
As an example of his gospel of discipline, Ochola in 2016 suspended the Kampala Metropolitan North regional criminal investigations directorate CID commander Wilber Wanyama for allegedly tampering with exhibits.
Martin Okoth Ochola is married to Helen Akoth and together they have children. Their wedding happened at Ndere Cultural Centre in Kampala in the year 2013.