Uganda:Colonel remanded over rebel plans

Published by Théophile Niyitegeka
On 30 November 2016 saa 08:31
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The alleged offences attract a maximum sentence of death upon conviction.

A senior officer of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has been remanded to Makindye Military prison for allegedly recruiting soldiers into rebel activities and disclosing secret information to unauthorised people.

Lt Col Deziderio Balidda attached to the Field Artillery Division in Masindi District was yesterday arraigned before the General Court Martial and charged with offences related to national security.

The alleged offences attracts a maximum sentence of death upon conviction.

Lt Col Balidda was jointly charged with junior officers Warrant Officer II Robert Wanyama and Pte Ivan Asiimwe, a gun repairer at the artillery base. They all denied the charges.

The court chairman, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti, remanded them to military custody in Makindye barracks until December 20 when they will reappear for mention of their case.

The State prosecutor, Maj Raphael Mugisha, told court martial that investigations were still ongoing and asked for at least three weeks to complete the inquiries for the case to be fixed for a hearing.

The state contends that in August this year at Naguru and Ntinda suburbs in Kampala and other diverse places in Masindi, the accused persons recruited soldiers and disclosed secret information to unauthorised persons with intent to prejudice the security of the defence forces.
Their appearance in court brings to four the number of cases at the military court in which various people are facing similar charges.

A group of 14 suspects among them a senior UPDF officer, Lt Col Philip Frank Eguma, formerly of the Armoured Warfare Training School in Mubende District, are accused of attempting to attack Kabamba Army Barracks.

In another case, 19 suspects, including junior army officers and civilians are undergoing trial over the failed attack on Gulu army detach and Gulu Central Police Station.

The law

Section 130 of the UPDF Act provides that a person, subject to military law, who discloses by word of mouth or by document, confidential information to the enemy or to unauthorised members of the Defence Forces or the public, commits an offence and is liable to suffer death on conviction.

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Lt Col Deziderio Balidda at the General Court Martial in Makindye yesterday.