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Tumukunde acquitted

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th April 2006 03:00 AM

THE General Court Martial has acquitted former spy chief Brig. Henry Tumukunde of charges of causing financial loss of sh300m to the Government by inflating the army payroll with 650 ghost soldiers.

THE General Court Martial has acquitted former spy chief Brig. Henry Tumukunde of charges of causing financial loss of sh300m to the Government by inflating the army payroll with 650 ghost soldiers.

By Maurice Okore
THE General Court Martial has acquitted former spy chief Brig. Henry Tumukunde of charges of causing financial loss of sh300m to the Government by inflating the army payroll with 650 ghost soldiers.
The court chaired by Gen. Elly Tumwine also acquitted Tumukunde of charges of neglecting duty and disobeying orders to face a UPDF probe committee chaired by Gen. David Tinyefuza.
However, the court did not set him free as he still faces charges of abuse of office and spreading harmful propaganda.
Under the charge of abuse of office, it is alleged Tumukunde failed to ascertain the strength of the forces as 4th division commander.
Tumwine was quoted as saying the State had failed to produce enough evidence against Tumukunde.
Three witnesses testified against Tumukunde, who was arrested on May 31, 2005. Tumukunde had not defended himself.
The proceedings were held in a closed session. court registrar Simon Namiti briefed the press.
Under the charge of spreading harmful propaganda, prosecution alleges that Tumukunde claimed that the army leadership blocked him from retiring. This was during a talk-show on CBS radio and on Radio One.
Tumukunde was sent back on remand to the Senior Officers’ Mess in Kololo under heavy military escort made up of 14 soldiers brandishing polished AK-47 assault rifles.
Relatives and friends were only allowed a handshake with the beaming Tumukunde, who declined to comment on his acquittal.
“Look at my face. doesn’t it tell you the whole story?” a smiling Tumukunde told journalists before boarding a Military Police pick-up truck that drove away from the court at 4:30pm at breakneck speed.
Tumukunde was among the 28 army officers who were put on trial for allegedly swindling over sh1b.
Other senior officers who were charged in connection with ghost soldiers were Maj. Gen. James Kazini and Brigadiers Steven Kashaka and Nakibus Lakara, Col. Poteli Kivuna, Col. Mark Kodili and Col. Andrew Gutti (now Brigadier).
Prosecutors alleged that Tumukunde swindled sh379m meant for 650 soldiers between November 2000 and November 2001 when he was the 4th Division chief in Gulu.
Ends

Tumukunde acquitted

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