By Stuart Bogere Oswald
The UPDF has charged and sentenced seven of its soldiers who Thursday assaulted journalists in Kololo.
A number of journalists sustained wounds as they covered NUP presidential candidate Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi who had gone to UN offices to handover a petition.
According to the army spokesperson Brig Flavia Byekwaso, the charged include Capt Jessy Odwenyi, Cpl Nimusiima Justine, Pte Wasswa Peter, Pte Tsame Imran, Pte Kisakye Victoria, Pte Opiyo Isaac and L/cpl Zirimenya Kassim.
“UPDF has sentenced 7 of its members after assault on members of the fourth estate. This is a deterrent measure to other members of the force not to engage in acts prejudicial to the good order and discipline of UPDF,” she tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen David Muhoozi had promised stern action against these errant officers that violated the journalists’ rights.
He also committed to foot medical bills of these journalists.
The seven were charged by the military police unit disciplinary committee (UDC) the lower court of the court martial.
The UDC presided over by the chairman Lt Col Gai Mpandwa sentenced the following service men to various punishments:
Capt Odwenyi was sentenced to 90 days of detention in Makindye military barracks, L/cpl Zirimenya Kassim was also charged with 60 days while Cpl Nimusiima Justine was sentenced to severe reprimand and caution while Pte Kisakye Victoria and Pte Opiyo Isaac were sentenced to 62 and 60 days in the military prison respectively.
The chairman warned the culprits and all other soldiers to always emulate discipline and professionalism while on any deployment. He also added that the above officer and militants will act as a deterrent measure to officers and militants while executing their constitutional mandate.