UPDF officer charged over death of 10 soldiers gets bail

A senior UPDF officer who allegedly failed to protect his colleagues while on a mission in Somalia, resulting into death of 10 of them has been released on bail by the Army court.

On Tuesday, Mutumbi, the former commander of Battle Group 16 (BGXVI) in Somalia, was released on a non-cash bail of sh5m by the General Court Martial chairman Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti on grounds that he presented to court substantial sureties.

The sureties who include Brig. Gen David Wakalo, Col. Jude Ndyanabo and Lt. Col Charles Asiimwe were also bonded at sh2m not cash by court. However, the court directed that he (Mutumbi) reports to court twice a month.

Mutumbi was also granted bail on grounds that he is of advanced age and has a fixed place of abode at Kabowa in Rubaga division. He was represented by his lawyer Paul Kuteesa.

In his affidavit Mutumbi, who has spent a month and two weeks in custody said that he is also suffering from diabetes, hypertension and cervical degenerative disc dieses.

Mutumbi is said to have ignored intelligence information which resulted into the Al Shabaab attacking Jonale detachment and killing 10 UPDF soldiers.

Prosecution alleges that Mutumbi faces two counts of; failure to execute ones’ duty leading to death of fellow officers and failure to brief subordinate commanders to execute an operation against the Al Shabaab.

Mutumbi was charged under section 134(1), 2(g), 123(1) and 2(d) of the UPDF Act. If convicted of any of the charges, the accused faces death as the penalty.

Mugisha told court that between June and September 2015, Mutumbi was briefed about the vulnerability of Jonale UPDF detachment to the Al Shabaab but he failed to relocate it.

Mutumbi also reportedly failed to provide support weapons, arms, ammunition, manpower and other equipment which resulted in Al Shabaab attacking the detachment on September 1, 2015, leading to loss of lives.

The UPDF officers who died at Jonale detach are; Lt. David Etua Ondoma, Sgt. Charles Outa, Sgt. Charles Ojange, Sgt. Eddy Kakaire, Sgt.  Abubaker Mugumya, Sgt. Emmanuel Wanyama,

L/Cpl Andrew Engema, L/Cpl Phinius Ochowun, Pte. Isaac Okidi Lotyang and Pte. Geoffrey Kintu. Prosecution further alleged that while at Celegalle in Somalia on August 27, 2015, Mutumbi failed to brief subordinate commanders for a planned operation against the Al Shabaab at Tawakal forest, which was aborted.

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