The UPDF is set to try one of its officers who shot dead three civilians over the weekend in an open court, the Nile Post has learnt.
On Saturday night, Lance Corporal Geoffrey Odaga killed three civilians who were drinking at a local bar in Kabedopong village in Badege division, Gulu municipality when he opened fire at them and injured one other.
This website has however learnt that the General Court Martial team that usually sits at Makindye is set to charge Odaga in an open court in the presence of locals in Gulu starting today Thursday and the process is expected to take five days.
When contacted about the same, UPDF spokesperson Brig.Richard Karemire confirmed the errant officer would be tried in the open but did not divulge more details.
“Absolutely, he will be tried in an open court .As soon as investigations are complete and court is ready, he will be arraigned,” Brig. Karemire told the Nile Post.
It is alleged that on the fateful day, Lance Corporal Odaga, a soldier attached to the UPDF fourth infantry division in Gulu district entered a bar at around 11 before looting an unspecified amount of money and drinks before opening fire at the revelers in the drinking place.
He would later be found sleeping due to alcohol he took before he was arrested.
A number of UPDF soldiers have in the past been tried by the army in open courts in the presence of the locals.
In 2013, Lance Corporal Herbert Rwakihembo was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment after being found guilty of shooting dead three people and injuring one in Luzira by a division court martial that sat at Luzira Church of Uganda Primary School.
The court heard that on December 10, 2012, at Kisenyi Zone III, Luzira in Nakawa Division, Rwakihembo shot dead Irene Namuyaba Nakibirango, Zaina Nassolo Nalongo and Loyce Kawendeke .
The punishment was however overturned on appeal.
In 2015,the UPDF 4th Division Court Martial sitting at Bibia trading centre sentenced Lance Corporal Kennedy Okumu, 40, a soldier belonging to the 29th Battalion to 45 years in prison for shooting dead a bar maid over shs 1000.
In 2013, the General Court Martial sitting in Bombo sentenced Pte Patrick Okot Odoch, a UPDF to 90 years imprisonment for killing 10 people including his fellow soldiers in a bar in Bombo town.