Understanding Uganda Internal Security Organization (ISO) and External Security Organization (ESO)

Disseminated Worldwide by Public Opinions International
KAMPALA | 19th March 2017


The Internal Security Organisation (ISO) is the Uganda government's counter intelligence agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to Uganda's policy makers. It also engages in covert activities at the request of the President of Uganda. Founded in 1986, the organization took over the duties first performed by Military Intelligence. ISO is the most covert intelligence agency in Uganda and operates within our families and communities. It’s generally deal with civilians but its parent organization is the Uganda People’s Defense Force though it’s under the office of the President.

ISO was established by an Act of Parliament, the Security Organisations Act 1987. Like all intelligence organizations, its main function is to ensure the stability and longevity of the state. It does this through monitoring priority government programmes that are critical to the wellbeing of the state, as well as collecting intelligence on locally based groups engaging in or intending to engage in acts of subversion, sabotage or destabilising the country.

The first director general was Major General Jim Katugugu Muhwezi. He led ISO from 1986 until 1996. He is the longest serving spy chief at the organization to date. He recruited and trained Dr Amos Mukumbi and Brigadier Ronnie Balya, each of whom was later to serve as director general. Other director generals include Philip Idro, Lieutenant General Henry Tumukunde, Brigadier Elly Kayanja and Dr Amos Mukumbi. It is currently led by Brigadier Ronnie Balya.

ISO is composed of professional intelligence officers recruited from all over Uganda and trained at its training institute, the Institute of Intelligence and Security Studies. Upon being passed out, the operatives are sworn to protect the Ugandans and their property and are deployed all over the country


The External Security Organisation (ESO) is a government agency, mandated to collect, analyse and process information related to external security threats with the objective of informing national policy makers in Uganda.

ESO was established by an Act of Parliament, the Security Organisations Act 1987. The agency focuses on the assessment of external security threats to Uganda.In the 2014/2015 financial year, the agency was allocated a budget of UGX:14 billion.Sometimes ESO's activities overlap with those of other government spy agencies, including the Internal Security Organisation and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence.

The Director-general serves as the chief executive of the government agency. She or he is appointed by the President of Uganda and reports directly to the president and to any other person or entity approved by the president. The Director-general has directors under her/his supervision, who report directly to her/him. The current director-general is Joseph Ocwet, a former career diplomat.


Thanks for reading, we welcome your comment on Tel:+256 701 992426 (Whatsapp,SMS or Call)

Disseminated Worldwide by;
Public Opinions International
Plot 30 Suite 5, Level 4 Green Land Tower

Opposite Bank of Uganda Kampala Road
P.o Box 35297 Kampala-Uganda
Tel: 256 701 992 426
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.pubopinions.org