The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) has no authority over retired Major General Matayo Kyaligonza, the army said Monday morning.
UPDF on Sunday arrested military police escorts of the retired General Kyaligonza after being photographed roughing up a female traffic officer, Esther Namaganda in Seeta, Mukono.
However, critics on social media also called for disciplinary action against Kyaligonza who could have possibly ordered or abetted the assault of Namaganda.
But speaking to the media, Defence Spokesperson Brigadier Richard Karemire said the army has no control over Kyaligonza considering he retired from the force.
“Since he (Kyaligonza) retired,” said Karemire, “he ceased to be under direct UPDF command and control.”
Asked whether the army has no power over the actions of reservists, Karemire responded: “He is not under reserve. He is retired. That is the bottom line.”
Kyaligonza is currently serving as Uganda’s Ambassador to Burundi where he is praised for strengthening Kampala’s relations with Bujumbura.
A battle-hardened hardened commando, Kyaligonza led an urban numbing squad of the NRA guerrillas, striking terror in the heart of President Obote’s regime.
his book, The Agony of Power, Kyaligonza says he first joined military service during former President Idi Amin’s regime. He worked then in the State Research Bureau, Amin’s dreaded security agency, until 1974.
Kyaligonza abandoned his job after his boss, Col. Kakuhikire, was abducted and killed by the regime he served.
Fearing for his own life, Kaligonza joined a rebel group called Save Uganda Movement (SUM), one of the groups that fought Amin. After Amin’s fall in 1979, Kyaligonza joined the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM), a small political party led by Yoweri Museveni that contested for leadership in the 1980 general elections.
According to the picture taken from the scene, Kyaligonza can be seen charging at the besiegedand helpless traffic officer.
The army yesterday announced the arrest of RA/221607 L/CPL Peter Bushindiki and RA/230927 Pte John Robert Okurut for beating up Namaganda.
Karemire told the media pressers that the suspects’ alleged offence is “assaulting a traffic officer.”
Namaganda, who was on duty, reportedly ordered the vehicle in which Kyaligonza was being chauffeured to stop over a traffic offence.
The military guards would later rough up the traffic officer.
A journalist working with Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) who was at the scene was also reportedly assaulted.
Brigadier Richard Karemire said “This incident is regretable and sorry to the police sergeant. UPDF and UPF will jointly work together to establish the facts.”
Karemire also said the army’s “next course of action” will be determined by facts obtained from joint investigations with police.
Kyaligonza is a member of the High Command of Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF).
The incident comes just weeks after retired Maj Gen Kasirye Ggwanga shot and deflated the cartyres of singer Catherine Kusasira in Kampala.