By Pascal Kwesiga
A witness in the trial of the former 343 battalion commander, Lt. Col. Benson Olanya, has said he (Olanya) threatened to ‘castrate’ him for attempting to stop soldiers taking fuel out of the barracks under his instructions.
Pte. Grace Nuwagaba, the intelligence staff at one of the battalion’s companies said Olanya threatened to castrate him when he visited Company A headquarters in Joa town in Mogadishu on June 28, 2013. A battalion is made up of 600 soldiers split into four companies with 150 soldiers each.
Under examination by state prosecution, Capt. Fred Kangwamu, the witness said the battalion commander who addressed him as ‘a small bull’ paraded him in front of soldiers before he accused him of trying to stop ‘things’ meant for him (Olanya) from leaving the barracks.
Nuwagaba told General Court Martial on Tuesday that Olanya reprimanded him after he tried to stop soldiers from loading a drum (200 litres) and a jerrycan (20 litres) of fuel onto a cart tied to a donkey at the quarter guard on June 21, 2013. He said a Somali man rode off on the donkey after the cart had been loaded with the fuel.
“Afande Olanya came to our company headquarters and he paraded me before soldiers. He said there was a small bull that was trying to stop his things from leaving the company barracks,” Nuwagaba said.
He stated that Olanya told soldiers there ought to be one bull in a kraal before he threatened to castrate him.
“I am going to take this small bull (Nuwagaba) with me and castrate him. When there are many bulls in the kraal others have to be castrated so that you remain with one bull,” the witness quoted Olanya as having said.