A former commander of the Ugandan military contingent in Somalia is in trouble for alleged fraud.
Col. Edison Muhanguzi, who served as the commander of the Ugandan fighting group-UGBAG 10/11 of the African Union Mission in Somalia, is accused of misappropriating money meant for paying allowances of soldiers under his command.
Each AMISOM soldier is entitled to a cash allowance of 200 US dollars for working in a hazardous environment but sources in Baidoa, Somalia claim that Muhanguzi was instead paying soldiers who are under his command only 100 dollars.
The sources, who did not want to be named because they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the military, say Col. Muhanguzi is also accused of selling food rations offered by the United Nations to AMISOM soldiers.
He reportedly appeared before a court-martial in Baidoa and was sent back to Uganda for further prosecution. Muhanguzi has not yet commented on the story.
The army is also still tightlipped on the incident.
Major Henry Obbo, the Spokesperson of the Ugandan Contingent in Somalia, dismissed the report as false. Obbo explained that there is no way Col Muhanguzi could have embezzled soldiers’ allowances because it’s reportedly paid direct into their bank accounts.
He says payments of the AMISOM allowances are done by African Union through the central bank of the country where the soldiers originate.
Obbo who referredi our reporter to his superior Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda the Army and Defense Spokesperson, says the soldiers are entitled to an allowance of 1028 US dollars and not 200 as claimed by the sources in Somalia.
Ankunda was reluctant to comment on the allegation but later confirmed that indeed the case is being investigated by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence. He however insisted that the story should not be published until he gets the details from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence-CMI.
The allegations come at a time that the commander in chief President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has made changes in AMISOM command replacing the long-serving Contingent Commander Brigadier Michael Ondoga with Brigadier Dick Olum.
Just two days ago, the deputy director of the Uganda Media Centre, Col Shaban Bantariza, was remanded for alleged fraud and misuse of property belonging to the National Leadership Institute (NALI), Kyankwanzi