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How UPDF ghosts were created

HE the President and C-in-C of the UPDF issued a directive entitled ” Directives Under-Strength of UPDF Units” dated 5th March 2002.


I have noted with grave concern that Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces combat units are under strength and I have issued the following directives:

  1. Under-strength of Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces Battalions is prohibited forthwith. A Battalion should either be full strength or reinforced strength
  2. Whenever a Battalion suffers loss of man-power, the respective unit CO should ensure that there is immediate replacement of such man power…
    3. Fragmentation of brigades where by subordinate battalions are deployed outside their respective brigade area of responsibility must stop forthwith.
    4. Transfer of other ranks must cease. It is only officers that are transferable.

In spite of the above-mentioned directive, transfers have continued resulting into creation of ghosts and undermining the operational efficiency of units.


Q: Now going back to the first one, that is covered by the directive as well, do not transfer other ranks, but you nonetheless go ahead and do that!


Yes Sir! It has been discovered that there are numerous cases of transfers of other ranks, in contravention of the C-in-C’s directive. There are 15 examples in different units.

(The report goes ahead and explains these examples where and how soldiers have been transferred irrespective of the Commander in Chief’s directives.)

(iv) Interchange of digits in service numbers with or without variation in names.
This was also found to be a common practice used by those who create ghosts. There were many examples of this e.g. X is RO/123 then later the same X is RO/132 in a different unit or same unit to confuse records/pay.

(v) Falsification of Acquittance Rolls in Accountability for Ghost soldiers
The Committee established that the act of maintaining of ghost soldiers on the UPDF/Auxiliary forces payroll is falsification of acquittance rolls, which are used to account for ghost soldier’s salaries. This is done through the following ways:

* Unit paymasters signing for the money of ghost soldiers.

* Unit paymaster’s forging/concocting signatures against names of ghost soldiers.

* Insertion of fictitious names.

* Multiple thumbs printing of acquittance rolls by the same persons.

    Q,.Where would you keep the money for the people not on the ground?

Mukanda: For sure, most of the money would be used on several areas. One, operations, two most of these Routine funds which we get from GHQs are not sufficient. So these balances would help us to cover up that gap………

  1. How were you accounting for it?

Mukanda: I would get instructions from the Div CO that let the paymasters countersign.

  1. You would put your signature?

Mukanda: They would put their signatures, the paymasters, and it was the general practice.

  1. As Finance officer, did you know that it was irregular?

Mukanda: Yes it was very irregular………..

  2. So what have you had as the balances? You talked of 12 million.

PMR: Now the 12m, that was for November, again in December they still had to pay. They remained with the balances at Div HQs.

  1. Who would account for the salary since the pay team was coming from the Division HQs?

PMR: I would account for the money. You know normally, the normal procedure would be if there are balances to declare them to the BAO, but here is a situation where by they have been using the money. So for us we had to account for the money.

  1. Do they sign with their names or with your signature?

PMR: But you can also see. Now what can I do? Because these names are not there, I have to sign against their names.


Q: In the year 2002, this Sam Turyamureba told your CO that you were required to make fake accountability and actually Sam drew up some fake names and we also have a copy. Do you know about that?

Musoke: Afande as far as fake accountability, I am aware why.

  1. You are aware of what?

Musoke: Of that fake accountability. After paying, me I could carry the nominal rolls, then the balances were topped up using accountability.

  1. Which balances?

Musoke: That were retained behind, the accountabilities were made.

  1. How were those accountabilities done? Whenever you finished payment?

Musoke: Yes Sir, then there was top up of accountability.

  1. How were those accountabilities done? Whenever you finished payment?

Musoke: Yes Sir, then there was top up of accountability.

  1. What was top up of accountability?

Musoke: Of the balances.

  1. Top up to reflect balances with Verex would be done by you?

Musoke: It could be done from here.

  1. The top up of the accountability means what?

Musoke: The balances have to be accounted for.

  1. I do not understand, can you explain?

Musoke: After paying the people on the ground, the balances now remained unaccounted for. Because, when we pay on the ground, that is already accountability. Now whatever remained behind, it used to be accounted for and it was done.

  1. This is the one, which Mbazira remained with?

Musoke: Exactly.

  1. The amounts that Mbazira remained with, how was it done?

Musoke: There were some two girls in Verex. They could write the names, because Verex had strength, he was determining the payable strength and knew the names…

  1. Before that I just wanted to exactly get this fake accountability, which you said you know about. So what actually happened?

Musoke: The names of those who were not on the ground could be written.

  1. By these two girls?

Musoke: From Verex.

  1. They wrote the names of non-existent soldiers?

Musoke: Of those who have not appeared.

  1. They wrote the names of all soldiers who had not reported on the acquittance rolls as if they were paid?

Musoke: And cover up the accountability.

  1. Did you sign against their names?

Musoke: We signed.

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