Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A Uganda People’s Defense Forces officer attached to the Internal Security Organization has sued the government seeking to recover his salary which was never paid for 32-years.
Captain Harrison Obote, a former soldier in Uganda National Liberation Army-UNLA contends that on January 13, 1988, he was granted amnesty and later absorbed into the National Resistance Army-NRA, as an army officer at the rank of Lieutenant. He was subsequently commissioned in 1991 and served as an Officer until 2004, when he was deployed under ISO according to a letter dated July 22, 2004, signed by President Yoweri Museveni’s former Senior Private Secretary Amelia Kyambadde.
His sworn in evidence before the court indicates that Captain Obote, while ISO was assigned very difficult assignments including, among others, tracing for the relatives and the mother of Lord’s Resistance Army Commander Joseph Kony which he reportedly did. The evidence also indicates that Obote was used as a state witness in the treason case against General David Sejjusa and six other politicians who had reportedly plotted to overthrow the government in 1991.
He says that after several complaints to President Yoweri Museveni, he was instead transferred from ISO in 2010 and taken to work under Anti-Terrorism Department of Police under the leadership of former Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura. Here, Captain Obote was still never paid his salary, a trend which continued when he was later deployed at the National Resistance Movement Secretariat as a security coordinator on behalf of ISO.
In 2017, President Museveni promoted Obote to the rank of Captain but he indicates in his documents that, he was in April 2020 arrested on charges of impersonation and later released on military police bond before being tortured on allegations of being found wearing a uniform of a captain.
As a result of the said actions by the state agencies, Captain Obote says that on several occasions, he has been chased out of rented premises because of his inability to meet his obligation. Court documents indicate that in January 2020 he was sued by his former Land Lord Charles Nyende of Bweyogerere after failure to pay 19 million Shillings in rent for 24 months.
His wife Grace Akello told URN that she used to be a teacher at Naguru Katali Primary School and she later got a contract with world Food Program but it expired in 2002 where they would get some money for survival. But Since then, Akello says she struggled to do small scale businesses but it couldn’t accommodate their basic needs, which has left some of their children to fail to acquire education.
Captain Obote now wants the High Court to order the government to pay him his salary arrears and special damages for loss of livelihood for the period that he has not been paid his salary. He also seeks a declaration that he has been subjected to discrimination, torture and inhumane treatment while working for the two security agencies.
Emmanuel Muwonge, the lawyer of Captain Obote told URN that attempts to seek payment of his salary through other channels have been exhausted.
The UPDF Deputy Spokesperson Deo Akiiki said he couldn’t comment on matters before the court.