By Pascal Kwesiga
BARELY three days after he was discharged from hospital, Brig. Michael Ondoga the ex-commander of the Ugandan troop contingent in Somalia was on Wednesday produced before the General Court Martial to attend his trial.
Ondoga was on Monday discharged from the Bombo General Military Hospital where he has been receiving treatment after he underwent ‘a minor’ operation last week.
The seemingly frail one star general appeared in court chaired by Brig. Moses Ssentongo, in Makindye, a Kampala suburb, along with Lt. Col. Sam Kirya, the contingent’s former military information officer.
Ondoga, who has been detained at Military Police headquarters in Makindye since he was charged last October is facing charges of failure to brief seniors, lying about the position of the enemy and making false accusations against a junior officer.
West Nile Members of Parliament led by Kasiano Wadri (C) Asan Fangaroo (R) and Jesca Ababiku chat with Brig. Michael Ondoga at the Court Martial. Photo by Peter Busomoke
He also is jointly accused with Kirya of failure to execute his duties. They are alleged to have committed the offences in the mission area between 2012 and 2013 when Ondoga commanded Ugandan troop contingent serving under the auspices of the African Union.
However, the court that was attended by MPs from West Nile sub region could not proceed due to lack of quorum.
Ondoga rejected Maj. Jane Mukasa (court member) from hearing his case because she reportedly “celebrated” when the accused was arrested.
Mukasa served under Ondoga in Somalia where Uganda has about 7,000 peace keepers. Mukasa steps out of court each time Ondoga is called to the dock.
She was also rejected by Capt. Joy Atugonza, the contingent’s former logistics officer, accusing her of having ‘celebrated’ her arrest. The MPs led by Kassiano Wadri, the West Nile parliamentary caucus chairperson, were allowed to have a chat with Ondoga at the court for five minutes. The hearing was adjourned to May 21.
The military police spokesperson Capt. Geoffrey Burushana, said Ondoga was fit to stand trial. New Vision was not allowed to speak to Ondoga to establish if he was fit to face trial.