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Intrigue cited in Col. Kulaigye suspension

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The suspension of Chief Political Commissar Colonel Felix Kulaigye is enshrined in controversy, with some officers saying he was wrongfully punished.

According to a source who spoke to the EagleOnline on condition of anonymity, Col Kulaigye, who is linked to a ‘gold scandal’, was suspended (Katebe) by the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Edward Katumba Wamala while on official leave, an anomaly.

“Colonel Kulaigye is on leave and the suspension comes in the middle of his two month leave. He started leave on August 16 and was suspended on August 26; why suspend a person on leave?” the source asked.

The source also says the suspension of Col Kulaigye is suspicious, given that the CDF had earlier said the charges levied against him that include the theft of gold and harassment of civilians were not an ‘administrative’ issue.

The CDF was responding to a raft of correspondences by lawyers for the complainant, Messrs Matrich Holdings Ltd of Richard Kamugisha, a broker Hajji Shaban Jjagwe and, Col Kulaigye’s co-accused, Lieutenant Comrade Nuwandinda, who allegedly helped his boss commit the said offences in Ntinda about a month ago.

The offences involve the theft of gold said to be worth US62.000 and Col Kulaigye and Lt Nuwandinda reportedly committed the said offences with a one Brenda Murungi, said to be the Colonel’s niece.

‘Whereas we take seriously the issues of concern that you raised regarding the above-captioned subject matter, we are of the considered opinion that the complaints and countrer-complaints against the captioned officers are more of legal than administrative,’ Gen Katumba Wamala wrote to Musangala Advocates and Solicitors, the legal representatives of Hajji Jjagwe; Messrs Wameli and Company Advocates, representatives of Mr Kamugisha and Messrs Arcadia Advocates, representing one of the accused, Lt. Nuwandinda.

In the letter dated July 22, the CDF added: ‘We therefore advise that the matters can be best resolved by Courts of law and the UPDF as an institution shall always provide courts the necessary assistance and cooperation to that ensure justice is done’.

Given the position earlier taken by the CDF, the officer wondered why there was a sudden change of heart.

“Why the contradiction? The CDF committed himself in dismissing the case,” the officer said adding” “Is someone using the CDF’s office (to get to Col Kulaigye) or he (CDF) is contradicting himself?”

To augment his position, the officer cited two cases he sad were proof of intrigue. He said former Amisom officer Lt. Col. Bosco Mutambi and Col. Dan Opito of the Airforce had been framed and punished irregularly various offences.

“Lt. Col. Bosco Mutambi who was cleared by the UN investigation team was arrested on orders from a top general at Mbuya and yet he had been cleared by UN investigators on same allegations. and Col. Dan Opito, who was implicated in treason charges, was released on the President’s orders and a day after he was on a plane to the USA for military training,” the source said adding that the CDF should assert his authority to contain the ‘emerging intrigue’.

By press time efforts to contact army spokesperson Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda on phone were futile.

The Col. Kalayigye’s incident is a drop in the ocean and an eye opener to the ongoing intrigue in the armed forces since the departure of Gen. Aronda Nyakairima as the CDF. EagleOnline was briefed by many sources within the army that whereas the ‘Mbuya top leadership’ is seen as performers, the reality is that they lack assertiveness and the hands on approach which Gen. Aronda implemented to build the force.

“The intrigue, corruption and leadership gap has taken back the army to where Gen. Aronda got it. It is even evident that at military courts the suspects bail the freedom or else, one is convicted on wrongful charges” said a source.

 

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