The 4th Infantry Division Court Martial in Gulu District has sentenced six soldiers to detention for six months after pleading guilty to all counts related to “assault” and “causing bodily harm” to several people in Amuru district.
They are; Lance Corporal Constantine Awinyi Abor, Pt Muhammed Makanga, Pt John Mack Eboku, Pt Robert Mutenga, Pt Silverster Ayo and Pt. Emma Ahimbisibwe.
Prosecution alleges the soldiers on the night of April 2 while at Lorikowo West Zone in Elegu Town Council beat with sticks women and men hence inflicting severe injuries on their bodies.
One of the victims identified as Ratib Adiga was beaten with sticks and a baton, causing him a “body fracture of his femur bone,” according to prosecution.
The soldiers, who claimed they were enforcing President Museveni’s directives to stem the spread of Coronavirus in Uganda, stormed Ms. Margaret Auma, the Chairperson for Elegu Women Cross-border Traders Savings and Credit cooperative Society and rounded up the men and women in the rented rooms, some of whom were naked.
The soldiers and police frog-matched, beat up and forced women to roll in the mud.
Women rights activists have since condemned the humiliation which has as well sparked nationwide outrage.
The women said the caning of their buttocks was extremely dreadful, painful and worst experience ever.
Cases of security forces especially LDUs beating up people have been on the rise since the president ordered a night curfew to combat the spread of Coronavirus.
Army speaks out
Reacting to today’s ruling, Defence spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire reiterated what he described as the military’s “will” to enforce the presidential directives on combating the spread of Coronavirus.
“While the public correctly demands high standards of discipline from the forces, we equally demand a reciprocal gesture by totally abiding to the measures by government,” warned Brig Karemire.
“No one should make a mistake and doubt our will and means to enforce these measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID 19,” further noted.
“We have never lost any war and we will not accept some people undermine the efforts in place to win this current war.”