Crime & Investigation

UPDF Commanders In Court Over Somalia Food Theft

kirya_272092866 sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Former commander of the Uganda contingent in the war-torn country, viagra dosage Michael Ondoga, Lt Col Sam Kirya, a former information officer at the mission, and former logistics boss, Capt Joy Atugonza, have been on remand at Makindye Military Barracks since November 1.

They later appeared before the military court chaired by Brig Moses Ddiba Ssentongo on November 6 but were sent back to jail due to late submission of the bail applications.

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It is alleged that in October 2012, Brig Ondoga, while aware of an impending advance operation from Afgooye-Baidoa which required 1,500 troops, committed 1,000 troops which resulted into loss of lives and also diverted 5,000 litres of fuel thereby endangering the operational efficiency.

Lt Col Kirya faces charges of giving false information about the enemy’s position.

Ondoga and Kirya are also jointly accused of failure to stop an illegal power connection at Aljazeera Training Centre in Somalia while Capt Atugonza is battling charges of “failure to ensure proper supply of food to the soldiers, failure to plan leading to shortage of food, water and issuing forged documents.”

The trio denies the charges.

The UPDF believe the officers’ commissions and omissions played a significant role in recent successes of the Al Shabaab militants on the battlefield in which many soldiers were killed.

Prosecution maintains that stealing food rations for the contingent, UPDF commanders starved and demoralised the soldiers on battlefield, giving an upper hand to the enemy.

The alleged theft of fuel also negatively impacted on the contingent’s ability to conduct routine military patrols and operations against the Islamist militants especially in liberated areas.

At the Court Martial, Chimp Corp Kenneth Kazibwe says relatives of the accused have already taken seats in preparation for the session set to kick off at 11:0030am.

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