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UPDF senior officers probe Mityana district chairman assault

FILE PHOTO: Brig. Richard Karemire, the spokesperson of UPDF said the Chief of Defence Forces has sent senior army officers to Mityana to make an on-spot assessment and confer with both the district leaders and the district security committee on the assault.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Chief of Defense Forces Gen David Muhoozi has sent a team of senior army officers to Mityana district to investigate circumstances under which the LC V chairman of that area was assaulted.

Two UPDF soldiers identified as Lance corporal Anguria Simon and Private Odeke Simon and two Local Defense Unit personnel identified as Private Musundi Caroline and Private Okello Isaac were captured on camera assaulting Mityana district chairman Joseph Luzige after he confronted them questioning how they were treating a boda boda rider and a passenger found flouting COVID-19 regulations.

It is reported that while moving in Mityana town, Luzige found soldiers beating a woman at a roadblock. The woman was caught travelling on a boda boda contrary to standing orders which restricted the operations of motorcycles to 5 pm. They are also not allowed to carry passengers according to guidelines issued by President Yoweri Museveni as part of the measures to control the spread of COVID-19.

But when he confronted them, they instead turned on him and his effort to identify himself as the chairman of the district fell on deaf ears. The officers who held sticks in one hand and guns in another kept on showing a seemingly hapless Luzige. A video of the incident recorded by bystanders made rounds on social media prompting the UPDF to come out and condemn the incident.

The four have been arrested and are to be charged in a military court. Speaking at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, Brig. Richard Karemire, the spokesperson of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces said as a force, they have zero tolerance to impunity.

He said a team compromising Maj. Gen. Sam Kavuma, the deputy commander of the Land Forces, Maj. Gen Sam Kawaga, the commander of the First Division and Maj. Gen. Henry Matsiko, the UPDF Chief Political Commissar have been dispatched to Mityana to investigate the incident.

LDUs have lately been in the spotlight for torturing and sometimes killing civilians especially during the COVID-19 lockdown. Karemire said the UPDF is going to carry out a comprehensive review of the last four months of the lockdown to see how their officers have carried out orders.

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