Army Identifies Soldiers Who Staged Illegal Makindye Roadblock

The two Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers who were on Wednesday arrested by police in Makindye over robbery but later released by their colleagues at gunpoint have been identified.

Security sources have since identified the two soldiers as Pte Job Reti and Pte Orete. A police patrol acting on a distress call by Lumuli officer-in-charge (OC) Betty Kazungu rushed to Kakoola village, Ndejje parish in Makindye Ssabagabo, in Wakiso district, to rescue motorists who were being robbed by two soldiers at an illegal roadblock.

It is alleged that the soldiers fired at the police. The undeterred police officers who were being commanded by Innocent Watum arrested the soldiers and detained them at Lumuli police station.

However, in less than 30 minutes, eight soldiers armed with guns raided the police station and forcefully rescued their colleagues. The soldiers were driving in a Land Cruiser, reg no. UAP 705P and according to sources they were being commanded by Sgt Tonny Opio. 

Luke Owoyesigyire, deputy Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, said a case of aiding an escape of suspects was being investigated.

“We are investigating the aggravated robbery aspect and also aiding a suspect to escape from lawful custody,” Owoyesigyire said.

Col Deo Akiiki, the deputy UPDF spokesperson, said the soldiers involved are guards of a senior citizen whom he declined to reveal. Akiiki added that the army had embarked on investigating the incident.

“I wouldn’t mention now and investigations are underway to establish what happened. If it was an alleged “rescue” of a criminal, it is definitely wrong and we shall cooperate with our counterparts in police to have those involved dealt with in accordance with the law,” Akiiki said.

The incident is being investigated at Mutungo police station under the reference SD 18/04/01/23. Barely a month ago, civilians armed with a PK Machine gun raided Kyabadaza police station, in the Butambala district and rescued their colleagues. The attackers also set free other suspects.

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