The High Court civil division in Kampala has ordered the UPDF to compensate to the tune of Shs 700 million Maj Ronald Iduuli, a soldier who was erroneously retired from active service in the army.
Maj Iduuli, 43 who joined the army in 1998 rose to become the defence counsel at the General Court Martial that sits in Makindye, a position he held from 2014 up to 2016 when he was dropped and forced to retire.
In his application to the High Court, Iduuli said he had been retired from the army without following the proper procedure of either an instrument of the commander in chief or a message from the Chief of Defence Forces.
He argued that he had been unfairly retired from the army without clocking the mandatory age and demanded for benefits.
In their defence, UPDF through the Chief of Personnel, Brig.George Igumba said Iduuli had disobeyed lawful orders when he refused to attend a junior staff and command course.
On Friday, Justice Margret Oumo Oguli ruled in the soldier’s favour saying that he had been erroneously retired from the active service of the UPDF. She ordered that Iduuli be given Shs 700 million as compensation.
The judge ordered that the soldier be awarded Shs 27 million as his un-remitted gratuity, Shs 5.8 million for his unpaid monthly pension and shs 537 million as lost income.
The court also awarded general damages to a tune of Shs 90 million to Maj. Iduuli as general damages for the stress, inconvenience, humiliation, embarrassment and psychological torture meted out to him due to the unlawful retirement and failure to be paid his benefits.
The judge said that it was illegal for the army to retire Iduuli without any instrument from the Commander in chief or a message from the Chief of Defence Forces.
“His removal from the post of defence counsel at the General Court Martial was unfair and his retirement was unconstitutional, malicious and illegal,” ruled Oguli.
The High Court judge also ruled that it was illegal and unconstitutional for the army to deny Maj.Iduuli his full retirement benefits on his forced retirement.
“The applicant is also awarded aggravated damages of shs50 million and an interest of 20 percent per annum from the date of judgment until payment in full is ordered,” said the judge.