By Benson Tumusiime
The General Court Martial seating at Makindye on Monday charged and dismissed one of their own for aiding Alshabab terrorists in Somalia in 2015.
Lt.William Abdul Ochieng was arrested by army’s investigative organ,The Chieftaincy of military Intelligence (CMI) in 2015 when he was part of the battle group 16 on a peace mission in Somalia on allegations that he failed to keep war materials and instead sold them to Al-shabab,a rebel group based in Somalia.
According to the source that TheSpy Uganda talked to on condition of anonymity, Lt.William sold 1,314 bullets to the rebel group based in Somalia.
He was later dismissed by the General Court Martial sitting in Makindye on Monday after concurring with the evidence obtained from eight witnesses presented by Prosecution in the case on.
While delivering the sentence, the General Court Martial Chairman LT General Andrew Gutti said that Ochieng, a commissioned officer was supposed to be an example to his subordinates but instead acted to the contrary when he sold ammunitions in Somalia.
The Court Martial has also ordered Ochieng to remove his army uniform and if not satisfied with the sentence, he has been told to Appeal against the sentence.
Ochieng who was part of the Battle Group 16 on a peace mission was convicted basing on evidence presented by eight witnesses who were presented by the State Prosecutor Maj. Raphael Mugisha.
The evidence included the exhibits of ammunitions and the buyer Abdul Shakul Fattah, a Somali National who reportedly told Prosecution in Somalia that Ochieng sold him 1,314 bullets on 11th June 2015.
Evidence obtained from UPDF soldiers who were in Somalia also indicated that Ochieng followed them with a big black bag as they were going to charge the battery and later disappeared from Balawe town.
He was then arrested when he returned to the barracks after colleagues reported that he had moved on non-official duties and without movement orders. Ochieng was later extradited to Uganda for Prosecution.
According to Mugisha, while prosecuting Ochieng, they did not go into details to find out how much the cost per bullet was, instead, they found out that Ochieng sold the bullets on whole sale at USD 800 to Shakul who is said to be a member of the Alshabab terrorist group.
During conviction, Maj Mugisha prayed that the Convict be given a harsh sentence for the offense he committed because he is of a high rank.
However, Ochieng’s lawyer Rtd.Captain Brian Mwoogi prayed that the Convict be given a lesser sentence because he is a first time offender and has a family to look after.
The Court Martial based on this request by Ochieng’s lawyer while delivering the sentence.
Outside Court, the tiny dark-skinned officer dressed in Sandals told TheSpy reporter that the sentence was not fair but he was not willing to appeal against it.