|Brigadier Kasirye Gwanga, UPDF|
Ugandan soldiers steal on missions abroad because they are businessmen back home, the presidential advisor on Security for the Central region, Brig Kasirye Gwanga, has said. In an interview on Monday, Gwanga told The Observer that Uganda could only redeem its tainted image abroad if Parliament enacted a law barring serving UPDF soldiers from engaging in business so as to reduce corruption within the army ranks.
At least six UPDF officers, formerly with the African Union mission in Somalia, (Amisom) have been charged in the General Army Court Martial on corruption-related charges. They include Brig Michael Ondoga, former overall commander of the UPDF contingent in Somalia, Lt Col Eugene Ssebugwawo, Maj. Nasuru Namara, and Lt Col Sam Kiirya.
“Many serving soldiers, save for professional soldiers like me, who engage in business, are tempted to steal and this is one of the reasons why many officers in Amisom, Somalia, are in the General Court Martial for stealing fuel, money and other things. This is not the same case with Burundi (soldiers) and other countries,” said Gwanga at his Makindye residence.Then again,
Interviewed for comment on Tuesday, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Katumba Wamala, said Gwanga was entitled to his opinions.
“He should however not contradict himself because when he was still a serving army officer, he used to do business,” said Katumba.