Special Reports

INVESTIGATION: 2 UPDF Colonels Arrested Over UPDF Somalia Massacre

search http://chienyenthinh.com/modules/mod_jacontentslider/tmpl/default.php geneva; font-size: small; mso-bidi-font-family: ‘Courier New’;”>He had just gotten an ultra-secret brief from the commander of the UPDF-led AMISOM contingent in Somalia Maj. Gen. Mugisha that over 100 peace-keeping troops had been killed in one day!

sickness geneva; font-size: small; mso-bidi-font-family: ‘Courier New’;”>A panicking Museveni, page who sources say was inexpressibly enraged, directed his secretary to summon all chiefs for an immediate meeting.

However, all these developments were shrouded by the drama surrounding the killing of Col. Muammar Gaddafi and funeral ceremonies of fallen Ankole Prince John Barigye.

Museveni ordered to be linked via a secure video cable to AMISOM headquarters in Somalia.

As soon as Mugisha’s face appeared on the screen, Museveni angrily quizzed him.

“How on earth could our fighters be ambushed and killed at once? There must be a traitor within your forces. I want you to find out immediately who is behind this and have him court marshalled.”

At that time, Museveni was expecting a national outcry to immediately pull out troops in Somalia. The Ppresident had failed to calm nerves at Kyankwanzi as legislators insisted on censuring Premier Amama Mbabazi for reportedly taking bribes from Tullow Oil. Back in Kampala, opposition was planning demonstrations! Therefore, the President was facing three weighty dilemmas at the same time.

During the meeting at Entebbe, all the three issues were discussed. Museveni said he suspected money exchanged hands before Somali massacre.

The security chiefs planned on how to respond to a scenario where bodies of slain UPDF troops were splashed on covers of newspapers around the world. The situation would be reminiscent of the 1994 US troops’ massacre in Somalia where their bodies were dragged on the tarmac in Mogadishu streets. US immediately pulled out.

“This is why we rotate our troops now and again because these terrorists use money to achieve their sinful ends. I want Col. Isoke to get to the bottom of this matter,” Museveni fumed.

Col. Isoke, a former head of Counter Intelligence at Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence in Kampala, was sent to Somalia early this year to boost intelligence gathering in the war-torn country.

He was replaced by Maj. Muwonge, a senior military spy who ran intelligence operations in DRC and Central African Republic in Congo against LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony.

HOW IT HAPPENED

After a thorough investigation, it has now emerged that three senior army officers of UPDF, including two Colonels, betrayed our country by taking bribes from a Somali terrorist responsible for the massacre.

We can authoritatively reveal that the trio is now under arrest awaiting Court Marshall trial. The army is still treating the matter with top secrecy to avoid jeopardising national security and operations in Somalia. This is why officers we called to confirm the matter said had no authority “at this stage.”

Colonel Kenneth Muhairwe, Lt Colonel Akandonda and Major Kakuriza, all from western Uganda reportedly took a hefty USD80,000 bribe from an Al Shabaab terrorist at Mogadishu Airport.

The airport, Somali President’s State House and other government buildings are under the guard of AMISOM.

The officers, through their vigilance, had arrested the terrorist with explosives he intended to use to blow up a camp of AMISOM.

In what now appears as national betrayal and scandal of the year, the three officers released the terrorist, who, four days later, killed hundreds of AMISOM soldiers. Over 70 Burundi soldiers were killed in the massacre that shocked the world. The army says only 15 died.

SMOKED OUT

As they shared their blood-stained loot, the officers were spied on by a low ranking officer Major Stuart Agaba. This officer was once a member of the elite Presidential Guard Brigade now Special Forces. He was as well President Museveni’s chief bodyguard. Those were days when army spokesperson Col. Felix Kulayigye was still a member of PGB. Agaba was fired in early 2000s as Museveni’s guard for indiscipline.

In Somali, however, Museveni entrusted Agaba with the sensitive logistics department.

Agaba swiftly alerted the head of UPDF operations in Somalia Brigadier Paul L’Oketch. Shocked to the marrow, Oketch summoned the three corrupt officers and grilled them for four hours.

A source described the meeting as “hugely stormy and bullets were feared.”

“The corrupt officers at first denied the saga, then admitted and tried to compromise Oketch who turned down the bribe. They arrogantly said they hailed from western Uganda and had the trust of the President,” a source adds.

L’Oketch immediately alerted his escorts to detain the corrupt officers pending investigations into the matter. The officers were handcuffed and driven under tight security to an officers’ safe house in Mogadishu. L’Oketch later reshuffled operations commanders and talked to the president about the matter.

A source says the terrorist they released was one of the chief operations strategist for Al Shabaab.

“It would have been a great victory for us in the war against Al-Qaeda funded Al Shabaab had they detained that terrorist. The love for money cost us hundreds of well-trained lives,” a source adds.

“After bombing the soldiers’ camp, the bodies were bayoneted and displayed in the sand. It was a huge setback for UPDF in restoring peace in Somalia,” the source adds.

The development underlines the growing corruption tendencies in the army. A few months ago, a batch of Special Forces raided Museveni’s treasury at Okello House in Nakasero, robbing millions of shillings.

As we write this, Museveni has summoned Brigadier L’Oketch to Uganda to give a brief to the Security Council over the matter.

Once convicted, the corrupt officers will face a death penalty for the grave offence.

The war against Kony in Northern Uganda took long simply because senior officers had ghost soldiers on the payroll which over estimated UPDF strength during the conflict.

The officers such as Brig. Henry Tumukunde, Gen. James Kazini (RIP) among others were charged over the scandal.

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