Court Martial acquits, frees Brig Ondoga


Brig Ondoga, relatives and lawyers after he was freed yesterday


Makindye General Court Martial yesterday dismissed all charges against Brig. Michael Ondoga, a former commander of the Ugandan peacekeeping contingent in Somalia.

In a session presided over by Maj. General Levi Karuhanga, court ruled that prosecution had failed to produce enough evidence against the soldier.

He is accused of failure to brief, execute his duties and disobeying lawful orders, among other charges.

Prosecution says that Ondoga on September 6, 2012 launched and operation from Afgooye to Baidoa in Somalia without operational orders and committed 1000 troops instead of 1500.

Prosecution further says that Ondoga failed to provide combat rations to wit food and water, failed to stop irregular transfer of subordinates, diverted operational fuel, obstructed investigations and failed to execute lawful orders to distribute tinned food equally among battle groups.

His negligence, according to state, led to the destruction of a UPDF tank and its crew after he allegedly failed to deploy 1,500 troops.

Court did not find evidence to that effect and dismissed the charges on grounds that prosecution evidence was inconsistent.

Court also dismissed the testimonies of prosecution witnesses, Edson Muhanguzi, Lt. Col. Laurence Kansiime and Maj. Ruziro Nuwagaba, who claimed knowledge of orders from Lt. Col. Akiiki Rugadya to deploy the troops.

Karuhanga said the only evidence they deduced indicated that the Force Commander (FC) issued orders on July 19, 2012 for the deployment but much later.

According to New Vision, Karuhanga never blamed Ondoga for failing to address problems of food shortage, saying logistics and foodstuffs supply involved logistics committees at Contingent level and receiving committees at Battle Group Level and either did he find evidence to prove that Ondoga diverted 15, 000 liters of fuel meant for operations.

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