Uganda People’s Defence Forces- UPDF has vowed to give stringent penalties to more than 100 Local Defence Unit- LDU personnel facing trial over gun mismanagement.
While speaking to Uganda Radio Network-URN on the on-going trials of LDUs countrywide, UPDF Spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, said all those that will be found guilty of being will be handed stringent penalties.
At least 121 LDUs are being tried by UPDF’s First Division’s Unitary Disciplinary Courts –UDC over committing various offences.
Though Brig Karemire said most of the LDUs face petty offences such as reckless shooting and misbehaving towards civilians, they will be severely penalized in order to send a message to others that UPDF isn’t a force for ill-mannered people.
Brig Karemire said various LDUs are being tried at different venues particularly in places where they committed the offences.
UPDF First Division has set up courts at Kawempe and Kakiri military bases for LDUs who committed crimes within Kampala Metropolitan area.
UPDF First Division decided to set up the courts to try LDUs following numerous complaints of murder, gun mismanagement, extortion and theft. UPDF deployed more than 6,000 LDUs in Kampala Metropolitan Policing Area in April last year.
LDUs are part of President Museveni’s 10-point security plan unveiled at the peak of violent crimes in 2018. LDUs have been on the spot over reckless shootings that have resulted into the death of civilians.
Several people took to social media and others reported cases decrying theft and extortion by LDUs through staging illegal roadblocks and operations.
Some of the notable gun misuse incidents registered last year in Kampala includes the arrest of three LDUs for killing their commander, Corporal Simon Emuron in Kisekka Market during an operation.
UPDF First Division Spokesperson, Maj Bilal Yusuf Katamba said Emuron was allegedly shot by LDUs while dispersing a rowdy crowd.
Cpl Emuron’s shooting came a month after Abdul-Aziz Mwanjje; an LDU was arrested for shooting dead a civilian in a scuffle at Kabusu, Rubaga Division, in Kampala. Mwanjje was locked up at Old Kampala Police Station for allegedly shooting to death Jimmy Ssetumba, a resident of Bunamwaya in Wakiso District.