By Steven Candia and Simon Masaba
The army has explained that the Monday Mbuya barracks incident, dismissing claims of an attack, saying it was an attempt by thugs to snatch a rifle from a guard on duty.
"What happened at Mbuya was an attempt by thugs to snatch a rifle from a sentry/ guard and not an attack as reported in some sections of the media today," Army spokesperson Col. Felix Kulayigye said in a statement.
The soldier was alert and as a result did what he was trained to do and killed one of the thieves arresting the three others, contrary to five as reported in the media yesterday, further dismissing reports in sections of the media that the incident was an attack on the barracks.
“It's instructive to note that an attack would have involved a deliberate and sustained exchange of fire from the alleged attackers and the defenders. This was not the case. It was the guard that short the thugs led by a deserter and the guard executed his job very well, harvesting two thugs,” he said.
The development is contrary to earlier reports in the section of the media that the facility was attacked in the wee hours of Monday by a group of unknown thugs, estimated at about 30, engaging the army in fierce gun fight. Mbuya, he said, ceased being a barracks.
“It is also important to note that Mbuya is no longer a barracks in the real sense of the term; but rather a facility in transition and that is why the deserter had hoped to get some guns to steal for criminal purposes.”
“What happened in Mbuya was an isolated criminal act whose actual intestines will be established with investigations and the public will be informed,” Kulayigye said and moved steel the public.
“Ugandans should be reassured that the UPDF has defended you for 27 years, defended our democracy, defended your democratic rights to determine your destiny and we have enjoyed tremendous support from you. We are not about to desert our obligations; rather we get energized to carry on with our work with more dedication and zeal.”
He said it is UPDF's history and unique attributes that has endeared it to the public and thus an “invincible, formidable force that is delivering hope in the region” much to the chagrin of others.
“We know there are those usual alarmists that would wish to see Uganda degenerate to the past status. Sorry, that will not happen,” he said adding that the UPDF is now better equipped and trained to discharge its constitutional duties.