National Resistance Movement (NRM) leaders from Kibuku district have written to President Museveni promising to support his sole candidature project in 2016 if he releases a junior UPDF officer who hails from the area.
Maj D.F Kiweru, who served as a staff training officer on the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) training desk in Mogadishu, was arrested in November 2013. Since then, he has been on remand at Makindye military barracks.
The 44-year-old officer, along with Capt Hassan Watimba, 43, are accused of inducing UPDF instructors at the Amisom training centre to train 19 civilians outside the school’s training calendar. The duo denies the charges.
In a July 20, 2014 petition signed by 100 individuals, and received by State House on August 18, the petitioners led by the Kibuku district assistant NRM secretary, Charles Maimba, say that although Maj Kiweru is a serving UPDF officer, he is also a loyal NRM cadre and influential mobiliser in the eastern Uganda district.
The petition says Maj Kiweru has “tremendously contributed to all landslide victories” that Museveni and the NRM have enjoyed in the district, as well as neighbouring Pallisa.
“If he has a case to answer, please kindly exercise your prerogative of mercy on him considering his great contributions towards the attainment of our revolutionary aims and objectives,” says the four-page petition.
Despite the plea from Kibuku leaders, President Museveni has hitherto not intervened in the case. On November 13, Kiweru, who is represented by Chrysostom Katumba from Lukwago amp Co. Aocates, was told to prepare his defence or a “no case to answer” submissions because the prosecution, which had produced six witnesses to testify against him, had closed its case.
The petitioners have also requested to meet Museveni over the matter. The letter adds: “If our son is no longer useful in the army, we appeal that you retire him in public interest so that we leaders, and the community at large, shall find a placing for him other than losing him under unclear circumstances as is the case now.”
The Kibuku leaders argue that Museveni’s “parental intervention” will save them from facing pressure from the community, the accused’s ageing parents, his extended family and biological children who they say are now out of school.
Source : The Observer