Wednesday September 3 2014

Ex-Amisom boss given two weeks to file submissions

Lt Col Benson Olanya in the dock at the General

Lt Col Benson Olanya in the dock at the General Court Martial in Makindye yesterday. Photo By Abubaker Lubowa 


The Military Court has given former UPDF commander under African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom), Lt Col Benson Olanya, two weeks to make submissions on a case in which he is accused of theft.
The General Court Martial chaired by Maj Gen Levi Karuhanga set September 16 for hearing of submissions before determining whether he should defend himself against the allegations.

The decision
“We are adjourning this matter but efforts must be taken to ensure compliance to avoid unnecessary extensions,” he said.
The court decision follows pleadings by Lt Col Olanya’s lawyer, Capt Ronald Iduli, that he needed time to prepare adequately in the interest of justice.

The charges
Lt Col Olanya is facing charges of alleged theft of 720 litres of fuel in connection with Somalia operations. He is also facing two offences relating to operations at the Ugandan base in Somalia in connection with diversion of 420 liters of fuel meant for the battalion.
He is one of the senior UPDF officers charged separately before the military court over alleged offences committed in the mission area (Somalia).

Court heard that UPDF soldiers attached to the Ugandan Contingent of the peace keeping mission allegedly sold fuel meant for operations to Somali civilian nationals without authority.
It is alleged that the former commanding officers authorised the sale of fuel meant to facilitate transport, running the generator and for cooking, which resulted into late meals due to search for firewood.

The State alleges that in June last year, while at Jowadi Town in Somalia, Lt Col Olanya diverted another 300 litres of fuel, which was meant for the battalion operations.

The accused
Charged. Others charged with Lt Col Benson Olanya include former Contingent Commander, Brig Michael Ondoga, former Battle Group Commander Col Hassan Kimbowa, former Tank Maintenance Manager, Maj Jamil Seguya, Lt Col Sam Kirya, a former Information Officer at the mission and former Logistics Officer, Capt Joy Atugonza.

Others. Others are former Battle Group Commander, Col Kray Matua, Maj Louis Bagenda and Lt Nassur Namara, a former Operations Commander in charge of training at Amisom.