The Uganda People’s Defence Forces has arrested one of its senior officers to help in the ongoing investigations into allegations of spying for Rwanda.
Highly-placed sources last night said operatives from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), the investigative wing of the Ugandan army, picked up Col Paul Muwonge on Wednesday, last week.
Col Muwonge, until his reported arrest, was the director of Intelligence for UPDF Land Forces, placing him in a critical position to receive and synthesise classified information shared by the army’s five infantry divisions to inform decision-making in the highest circles of the military.
These are merely accusations against the officer and he has not been formally charged and he remains innocent until charged and convicted.
The Land Forces commanded by Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, also encompasses the UPDF Artillery Division, the Armoured Brigade and Motorised Infantry.
It has the largest recruitment and deployment of Ugandan soldiers. The army’s other services are the UPDF Air Force, Special Forces Command as well as the Reserve Force.
According to information on the website of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs, the Land Forces “have the capacity to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda on land.”
“They are strong enough to deter any possible aggregation from across national borders. However, these borders are both long and at times insecure. It is, therefore, important that sufficient forces be deployed intelligently, and with sufficient speed, to be able to find, contain and destroy the threat,” reads an introductory message on the UPDF website’s home page.
Security sources told Francis ( journalist) last night that following his arrest on May 22, Col Muwonge was detained at the high security Makindye Military Barracks in Kampala.
Col David Gonyi was swiftly appointed to replace him to ensure no vacuum in the highly sensitive post.
It remained unclear by press time whether Col Muwonge had had access to his family or lawyer since arrest and we were unable to establish if he recorded any statement or had been released.
There were conflicting accounts of his whereabouts and particulars of the offence he is alleged to have committed.
One top government source said he remained incarcerated. Another security official denied that the officer was in custody, before admitting that the colonel was a subject of inquiries “but not spying for any neighbouring country”.
Brig Richard Karemire, the UPDF spokesperson, told Daily Monitor last night: “The senior officer (Muwonge) isn’t in prison. It is, however, true that he is being investigated for conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline in the UPDF.”
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