BY HELLEN MUKIIBI
Army chief Gen. Aronda Nyakairima has set up a committee to investigate embezzlement of over sh250m meant for salaries of auxiliary forces in Abim district.
Brig. James Mugira, the head of military intelligence, is to head the four-member team, which is expected to file a report within two weeks.
The commander the 5th Infantry Division, Brig. Hudson Mukasa and six other officers have been suspended over the fraud.
Maj. Peter Buyungo, the director of the inspectorate, Maj. Gideon Kakinda, the head of the special investigations branch, and Lt Moses Emitu, will also sit on the committee, army spokesman Maj. Paddy Ankunda said yesterday.
Oscar Ojoket, the division political commissar, remains in office, he said. However, also suspended on Friday were 5th Division intelligence officer, Maj. Sam Kirya, the finance officer, Lt. Geoffrey Mugwire, auxiliary accounts officer, warrant officer James Sunday, and Lt. David Birungi, the officer in-charge of bills. President Yoweri Museveni ordered the suspension.
Brig. Mukasa has been replaced by Col. Sam Kavuma, his second-in-command. Before moving to Pader two years ago, Mukasa was heading the UPDF 2nd Division based in Mbarara after Col. Poteli Kivuna was interdicted.
He was 2nd Division operations and training officer and the 503 Brigade commander based in Kitgum from 1997 to 2003. The mobile brigade fought LRA rebels on the Sudan-Uganda border.
Several army officers have in recent years been charged in military courts with cases of indiscipline and fraud.
In 2004, former army commander Maj. Gen. James Kazini was interdicted and charged with causing financial loss to the army by creating ghost soldiers. Former ISO chief Henry Tumukunde, former chief of staff Nakibus Lakara and former personnel head Stephen Kashaka, have also been charged in the past.