A UPDF officer in Somalia has been arrested after he asked the head of the Special Forces Command, Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to explain why some soldiers stay on the same rank for long while others are “fast tracked”, military sources said.
Capt Moses Asiimwe, serving under Uganda Battle Group 11 in South of Somali capital, Mogadishu, was arrested last week and is currently under detention in Makindye military cells, army authorities confirmed yesterday.
The military spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda, confirmed that Capt Asiimwe had been arrested and his conduct was being investigated. “We are carrying out investigations into the utterances of the officer.
For now, we cannot judge him until we have finished the investigations,” Lt Col Ankunda said. Military sources in Mogadishu told the Daily Monitor that Brig Kainerugaba, who was in Somalia for two weeks inspecting Ugandan troops, had told army officers to ask any questions on the issues affecting them.
Capt Asiimwe reportedly asked Brig Kainerugaba, who is also the First Son, to explain why some soldiers despite doing all the military courses needed for one to be promoted, have remained at the same rank for a long a time.
He reportedly told the meeting that he joined the army earlier than Brig Kainerugaba, but was still five ranks below the commander of Special Forces, despite having a number of courses under his belt.
Capt Asiimwe said he joined the army in early 1990s and did a cadet course in 1997 in Jinja and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant but remained at the same rank for 12 years before he was promoted to captain.
In response, Brig Kainerugaba reportedly told him that he was using a wrong forum to “ask” for promotions. This was also reportedly seen as an act of indiscipline by Capt Asiimwe.
Sources close to his family said Capt Asiimwe was put on the plane the following day and taken to Makindye military barracks where he is being detained. It is not clear which charges will be brought against Capt Asiimwe but sources said no statement had been taken from him a week after he was detained.
The development has revived debate about the “death” of free interaction in the UPDF. The army used to conduct weekly meetings called Barazas inside the barracks and in operational areas where soldiers were allowed to speak freely without fear of retribution. Whereas sources we spoke to indicate the meetings are no more, Lt Col Ankunda insisted they happen and are enshrined in the law.