By David Lumu
Lt. Col. Benson Olanya has asked the General Court Martial to grant him bail—citing grave illnesses such as HIV\AIDs, Hypertension and diabetes, which his lawyer says, require a special diet that he cannot have in prison.
“My client needs special attention as far as medical care is concerned. He needs regular medical check-ups. Even medical supplies are not sufficient in prison. He has HIV\AIDS, Hypertension and Diabetes. Consider his medical conditions, which are appalling, and grant him bail,” Gerald Muramira, his lawyer told court.
Olanya, who was arrested in September, last year is accused of abuse of office, diversion of fuel and failure to brief the authorities about the various clandestine machinations that a group of over 10 UPDF soldiers under the Uganda Battle Group 10 (UGABAG10), a contingent on African Union peace keeping mission in Somalia [Amisom] stealthily executed.
Olanya has spent four months in jail, and on Tuesday he expected to get bail.
However, UPDF prosecutor, Captain Fredrick Kagwamu, argued that granting Olanya bail would open a leeway for him to interfere with witnesses and that his lawyer had failed to provide proof that his client’s medical condition cannot be managed by doctors at the Makindye Military Police barracks, where he is jailed.
“The applicant is getting utmost medical attention from doctors at Makindye. His lawyer has not tabled a medical certificate to show that the facilities at the detention center cannot cater for his grave illnesses. My Lord, Chairman, his case impinges on the national security and the general discipline of the UPDF, which is a grave offence for the accused to be granted bail,” Kagwamu said.
In his ruling, Brig. Moses Ddiba Ssentongo, the chairman of the General Court Martial set February 4 for the ruling of Olanya’s bail application. The hearing of his case would start on February 11.
Today the Brig. Ssentongo would deliver a ruling on one count where Brig. Michael Odonga, the former commander of UGABAG10, is accused of failure to brief authorities about the clandestine deals that the rank-and-file under his command in Somalia executed for their selfish gains.