Tribute to Fallen IGP Emeritus John Kisembo

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The late Rtd IGP John Kisembo was born on the 1st October, 1955, to the late Francis Xavier Sembaya and Florence Byahurenda Amooti of Kitema Village, Mugalike parish, Kagadi District, previously the Greater Hoima District.

He started his education in 1963 and completed his Primary Leaving Education in 1969.  He joined St Marys College Kisubi in 1971 to 1973 but completed his “O”level from St. Edwards S.S.S. where he obtained his East African Certificate of Education (EACE) in 1973.  He later joined Old Kampala S.S.S for his “A”level, and obtained his East African Advanced Certificate of Education (EAACE) in 1979.  He went on to join Makerere University, where he obtained a degree in Sociology, in 1979.

On the 12th, March 1980, he was enlisted in the Uganda Police Force with 26 others, for the initial Cadet/Assistant Superintendent of Police, which was conducted at the Police College in Daresalam. The others included; Watter Anywar, John Masayi, Stephen Onyu, Charles Kimali, Jim Muhwezi, David Tinyefuza, Dominic Okoth Ongwen Omitto, John.J.Rutanyoka, Godfrey Wasswa, John.C.Odomel, George.A.Odong, Thomas.K.Isanga, Moses.B.Enapu, Richard Bisherurwa, Herbert Karugaba, John.A.Mulindwa, Elizabeth Muwanga, Sam.E.Bwanika, Deo.E.Nduru, Mathias Atubo, Richard.A.Kabaizi, Daniel Mudumba, Chrysostom Bakesiima, Chris Bakiza and Henry Bamweyana.

After the successful completion of the initial cadet course he was posted to Gulu, on the 24/10/1980, where he began his remarkable journey in national policing. He was transferred from Gulu to the Eastern Region as the RSBO on 23/07/198, and after 8 months, he was transferred to the Special Branch, Kampala area on the 15th/03/1982 as Deputy RSBO.

And on the 20/12/1982, he was appointed and transferred to Karamoja as the RSBO.  It is during his stay in Karamoja that he was appointed Regional Special Branch Officer, North Eastern, based at Moroto, on the 9/5/1983.  He was confirmed as Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and admitted to the pensionable establishment of the Public Service on the 23/12/1983.

He quickly rose through the ranks, because of his great work ethic.  He was appointed Regional SBO – South Western from 1984 – 1986, and thereafter as the Government Protective Security Officer SB Headquarters from 1986 – 1990.

In 1990, he was promoted to Assistant Commissioner of Police and appointed Deputy Director, Special Branch.  After two years, in March 1992, he was appointed the Director of Administration, Police Headquarters.  A month later In April, 1992, he was appointed, Deputy Inspector General of Police, in April, 1992.

He also attended various courses that enabled him grow in his career. These include; the Gazetted Officers Certificate at the Police College Daresalam in 1980, Basic Special Branch Course (1981), the Senior Intelligence Officers Course, London (1985), the National Security And Senior Intelligence Course Cairo (1986), the Government Security Officers Course, London (1989), the Senior Command Course Lancashire (1993), The Senior Command Course, Bramshill(1993), The Strategic Management Course ,UMI (1996), The Symposia Of Economic Crime (1997).

At this stage of his career, he was being looked at as a possible successor of the IGP, John Cossy Odomel, and he indeed took over from him, first in Acting capacity, in 1998, before he became the substantive IGP in 1999 till 2001.  He contributed greatly to policing through distinguished service at the National level.  His former colleagues called him a super police officer who was meticulous, Highlly Professional and always gave thoughtful advice, including during the toughest times of his career.

The qualities he had will be respected and admired across the public spectrum. It is beneath his trademark smile that there was a great out pouring of self in total surrender, for the good of others.  It is beneath his uniform that we saw his awesome responsibilities to protect, to give himself in public service and comfort the afflicted whom he encountered during his work.  He epitomised what a police chief should be.

He applied for early retirement from the police on the 4th October, 2001, in accordance with section 16(1) (b) of the police statue 1994. But even in retirement, he continued to serve as the Ag Director at the United Nations Institute for the Prevention of Crimes and Treatment of Offenders, a position he held till his demise.

We want to thank Rtd IGP John Kisembo for his 21 years of excellent and dedicated service.  As we remember him, we do commend him for being a steadfast peace maker and an Ambassador of Justice.  He will be greatly missed by colleagues and all who worked with him during his career and the entire police fraternity.

The IGP, has reached out to the family, and told them they are not alone, but surrounded by a whole host of officers who will continue to surround and pray for the family.

He is survived by 17 children and children and grand children.

His hobbies included Lawn Tennis, Squash, Travelling and Golf. He was the President Uganda Golf Union from 2009 to 2010 and the Chairman Police Sports Association (1992).

May his Soul rest in eternal peace and may the angels of God, surround him.

The Requiem Mass will be held tomorrow 20th July at Our Lady of Africa Mbuya at 0800/c and burial at Kitema village Kagadi District on Sunday 22nd July 2019.


CP Fred Enanga

PRO Uganda police force

19th July 2019


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