Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The First Division of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces- UPDF has started trying Local Defence Unit –LDU personnel arrested over gun misuse.
Others will be tried for cases related to killing and injuring civilians in reckless shootings, gun mismanagement, extortion and theft.
Maj Yusuf Katamba, the Spokesperson UPDF First Division declined to reveal the exact number of suspects and particulars of their offences. Maj Katamba, however, confirmed that the trials have started.
Since the deployment of more than 6,000 LDUs in Kampala Metropolitan policing area in April last year, several concerns have been raised by members of the public regarding their conduct.
LDUs recruitment and deployment was part of President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s 10-point security plan to avert high crime incidents.
At least several cases of reckless shootings by LDUs were recorded last year leading to the death of civilians. About a month ago, UPDF arrested three LDUs for killing their commander, Corporal Simon Emuron in Kisekka market during an operation.
Much as Maj Katamba said Cpl Emuron was allegedly shot by LDUs while dispersing a rowdy crowd, witnesses said the group of over 40 raided Kisekka Market for a mission but disagreed in process.
“Those LDU have engaged in several dubious acts and we just watch them on because they are not under our command. They belong to the army and we let the army handle their misconduct,” a senior police attached to Kampala Central Police Station –CPS said.
He added that in the Kisekka incident, LDUs who killed their commander had wrongly raided the area because it is under the command of CPS and Old Kampala Police Division. Cpl Emuron and his group were supposed to operate in Katwe and Kibuye but no one knew how they ended up in Kisekka.
Other victims of LDUs gun misuse include, Jimmy Ssetumba, who was shot dead an LDU identified as, Abdul-Aziz Mwanjje. Ssetumba was shot dead at Kabusu, Rubaga Division, in Kampala following a night scuffle.
The army arrested Mwanjje and detained him at Makindye military barracks. Ssetumba’s shooting came on the heels of investigations into the shooting of, Sam Odukur, by an LDU at Buyala under Wakiso Policing Division.