The Uganda People’s Defense Forces have opened up on one of their own, online Lt John Junior Mwaale, pills who today went public on an alleged brutal torture that he suffered at the command of one of his bosses in February 2015.
The army vehemently denied his claims and accused him of overdrinking and indiscipline.
Lt Mwaale told press at parliament on Wednesday that he was beaten by his fellow soldiers at Mbuya Barracks on orders of his boss one Maj. Ramathan Gidudu.
He says he was scalded with a red hot machete, had one of his finger nails plucked out and was punched hard that he even lost some teeth.
The solider who presented photographic evidence of the torture claims it was as a result of misunderstandings between him and Commander Gidudu.
The army spokesperson Brig. Richard Karemire however, says this torture never happened and that Mwaale sustained the injuries long before his arrest.
On the contrary, Karemire says, Mwaale was “a habitual drunkard and violent officer.”
“He was in the wee hours of 6th Feb 2015 arrested from Kisenyi bar and because of his very violent character, was handcuffed on arrest,” said the army mouthpiece in a statement.
“He was subsequently charged in the Military Police Unit Disciplinary Committee for drunkenness, insubordinate behavior, and attempt to commit arson.”
Karemire says the soldier was convicted and served a sentence of one year; underwent various medical treatment at various centers aimed at saving him from some long time held ailments.
“He was released on 22nd July 2016 and ought to have reported back to his Military Police Unit. He is still a serving UPDF officer and can access free and proper medical treatment. Any concerns he may have, can still be handled by the leadership.”
Earlier this evening after addressing press at Parliament, there were reports that Lt Mwaale was grabbed by suspected soldiers and whisked away, which sparked murmurs in Parliament corridors.
But the army spokesperson when contacted also dismissed the reports telling us, “I can confirm to you that he is currently at his house.”
Brig Karemire stressed that the UPDF remains firm in dealing with any indisciplined soldier “using our tested legal methods.”
“Discipline remains our bedrock and a core value of the UPDF culture and no gimmick can make us deviate from it,” he added.