UPDF’s First Infantry Division Court martial chaired by Col Sam Mugyenyi, on Tuesday charged 8 Uganda People’s Defense Forces(UPDF) and Local Defense Unit (LDU) personnel with various criminal charges which included Manslaughter, failure to protect war materials, careless shooting and desertion.
All these charges are considered to be capital in nature according to UPDF Act.
The accused include; LDU AX 012029 Asuman Juma Musuya who was charged with manslaughter.
Court heard that, on the 25th Jul 2019, while cleaning his gun, Musuya failed to take necessary safety precaution leading to killing of his fellow LDU Atanansi Mumuli.
The second is LDU AX 013908, Kirungi Sadik of Kira division who was charged with failing to protect war materials under section 122 of the UPDF Act.
He pleaded guilty of the charges and was convicted on his own plea. Court heard that, on the 10th Dec 19, Kirungi Sadik’s firing pin and bolt were found missing from his gun.
The Defence lawyer, prayed for a lenient sentence since Kirungi was a first offender, did not waste court’s time and was remorseful of his act.
In his own words, the convict pleaded for a lenient sentence on grounds that he is a sole bread winner of a family with a pregnant wife. In consideration of the above, court sentenced him to 6 months’ detention starting from the day of conviction.
LDU AX 016343 Olingi Joseph, was charged with obtaining registration by false pretense under Section 312 of the penal cord Act. He denied the charges and was remanded until 26th May 2020.
LDU AX 015479 Ntabakirapose John was charged with desertion, a capital offence under the section 146 of UPDF Act of 2005. He denied charges and was remanded until the 26th May 2020.
Similarly, RA/221596, Pte. Bogere Kigoma Pius, was also charged under the same section. He accepted the charges.
State prosecutor, Capt. Pigan Mugisha asked court to hand the convict a deterrent sentence which was opposed by defence council Mrs. Kensiime Merian who informed court that Bogere was a first offender, he did not desert with a weapon and was the sole bread winner for the family.
She therefore, pleaded for a lenient sentence. After a careful and lengthy deliberation, with consideration of mitigating factors, court sentenced him to 15 months’ detention from the date of his arrest.
Others charged were, RA/204330 Pte. Kabwana Jimmy, for careless shooting in operation against Section 125 of the UPDF Act.
Of recent the Division Court Martial, sits regularly to hear both service and nonservice offences.
According to the 1st Division Commander Maj Gen. Samuel Kawagga, the court sittings are part of the deliberate efforts to ensure discipline in the force. “We continue to use all means at our disposal to ensure that we maintain our norms, traditions and culture that have always defined us”.
He maintained that, they will ensure professionalism and discipline through continuous training, mentoring and taking administrative action in addition to legal action to maintain a disciplined force.