The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has launched Investigations under which a Local Defence Unit Personnel (LDU) assaulted the Mityana District LC5 Chairman, Joseph Luzige on Tuesday July, 7, 2020 evening.
The video that went viral show L/Cpl Anguria Simon Peter, Pte Odeke Simon, Pte Musundi Caroline and Pte Okello Isaac seriously assaulting the LCV Chairman who was complaining why they were continuing to beat a woman who was seriously bleeding.
According to the chairman, the incident happened in Mityana town as he tried to save a woman who was being beaten by the LDU personnel who were enforcing presidential directives on Coronavirus.
“I was going to hospital and found them beating a woman who had fallen down and was bleeding profusely. When I asked them to arrest, instead of beating people, one of the officers who was drunk started pushing me,”Luzige said.
He added.. “They told me I cannot give them orders on what to do. In many areas, security is implementing presidential directives on Coronavirus but in Mityana it is too much.”
Meanwhile, the UPDF Spokesperson has since issued a press statement condemning the act and here it reads…
Yesterday on July 7, 2020, a patrol squad on routine duty in Mityana Municipality manhandled the LCV Chairman for Mityana District Mr Joseph Luzige. The circumstances are yet to be established.
This incident no doubt has attracted a lot of attention from the members of the public and the leaders in Mityan district and beyond.
The UPDF regrets this gross act of indiscipline that is not characteristic of the UPDF as a people’s army.
We wish to restate that discipline remains a core value and bedrock on which the UPDF was founded. Anyone who deviates from this will always be punished according to the established laws. There are examples to prove this in the recent past like a soldier in Kasese was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment and an LDU personnel was yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment all because of unprofessional conduct.
We therefore strongly condemn this act meted out against one of our senior civilian leaders.
In response to this incident, the following who were involved have been arrested to be prosecuted in the military court:
L/Cpl Anguria Simon Peter
Pte Odeke Simon
Pte Musundi Caroline
Pte Okello Isaac
Investigations have also commenced. Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Forces has sent a team of senior leaders that include; Maj Gen Sam Kavuma, the Deputy Commander Land Force (D/CLF), Maj Gen Sam Kawaga, 1Div Comdr and Maj Gen Henry Masiko the Chief of Political Commissar (CPC) to Mityana to make an on spot assessment and confer with both the district leaders and the district security committee.
The UPDF wishes to reiterate its full commitment and loyalty to the people of Uganda and will always remain subordinate to the civilian authority as provided for under Article 208 of the Constitution.
There is no need to lose heart over these incidents. A comprehensive review of these deployments to enforce anti-COVID 19 measures is soon to take place and we expect better results.
In the recording, the men armed with both guns and sticks are seen walking
The development comes barely a day after the division court martial in Oyam district sentenced a Local Defence Unit personnel to life imprisonment for beating a 65 year old man to death while implementing the presidential directives on Coronavirus.
Local Defence Unit personnel have in several parts of the country been accused of assaulting and torturing members of the public.
The army has always insisted that it does not condone such brutal acts of individual officers, adding that discipline is one of its core values and whoever deviates from it is punished
RICHARD KAREMIRE psc, fwc