The UPDF has apologized over an incident in which Mityana LC5 chairman, Joseph Luzige was assaulted by Local Defence Unit personnel while enforcing the presidential guidelines on Coronavirus.
In an unprecedented manner on Tuesday evening, a group of four LDU personnel were captured shoving the Mityana district LC5 chairman as he tried to explain something to them.
In the recording, the men armed with both guns and sticks are seen walking away with Luzige as locals gathered to watch what was happening.
Luzige later said that he was shoved for intervening as the LDU personnel beat up a woman as they enforced presidential directive on Coronavirus.
However, according to the army spokesperson, Brig.Richard Karemire, it was an unfortunate incident as a patrol squad on routine duty in Mityana municipality manhandled Luzige.
“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,”Karemire said.
Brig.Karemire said that four people including L/Cpl Anguria Simon Peter, the squad commander and his juniors; Pte Odeke Simon, Pte Musundi Caroline and Pte Okello Isaac have been arrested and will soon be prosecuted.
Explaining that the incident has attracted attention from members of the public and leaders from Mityana district, the army spokesperson said it is regrettable and that they condemn it.
The UPDF spokesperson explained that such acts don’t depict the character of the army, noting that it will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
“We therefore strongly condemn this act meted out against one of our senior civilian leaders.Anyone who deviates from the core values of the UPDF will always be punished according to the established laws.”
He cited the LDU personnel who was sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment in Kasese for shooting dead a lay reader.
The army spokesperson revealed that the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen.David Muhoozi has dispatched a team of senior UPDF officers including Maj Gen Sam Kavuma, the Deputy Commander Land Forces Maj Gen Sam Kawaga, the first division commander and Maj Gen Henry Masiko the Chief of Political Commissar 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.”
Local Defence Unit personnel have for the past one year or so been under the spotlight for misbehavior while conducting their operations in the various parts of the country where they are deployed to augment police in providing security.