Two UPDF soldiers, who were last month caught on video brutalizing a suspected thief in Gulu Town, are set to face the court martial, the army has said.
Pte Francis Okweny and Pte Paulino Onen, who are attached to the UPDF Fourth Division in Gulu, were seen in a video posted on social media beating up Jovin Odokonyero, a truck driver, for allegedly stealing car batteries at a road construction site.
Maj. Ceasar Olweny, the Fourth Division spokesperson, said the soldiers are in custody awaiting trial by the court martial.
“They are being detained at the UPDF 4th Division army barracks in Gulu town. As soon as we conclude with the investigations, they will appear before the court martial,” Maj Olweny said on Monday.
“As a professional army, we don’t tolerate such acts of torture and any form of hooliganism, the best was not to beat up a suspect but forward him to police,” he added.
Mr Odokonyero, a truck driver with Zhongmei Construction Company, was caned 60 strokes by the two soldiers who also rolled him in the mud several times.
Medical documents from Gulu hospital indicate that he has sustained injuries on his ribs, groin and neck.
Odokonyero was accused of stealing four batteries from trucks parked at the Zhongmei Engineering Group Company camp. The camp located opposite Pece government prison in Gulu town is currently guarded by seven armed UPDF soldiers both during day and night.
Zhongmei Company, currently working on the Gulu-Moroto road, a few months ago hired the security services of the UPDF after accusing police and other private security firms that formerly guarded their premises of conniving with workers to steal equipment and other company properties.