Uganda: Army Probes Suspicious Fire in Barracks

Mayuge — The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) are investigating the circumstances under which part of the stores at Magamaga Ordnance Depot in Mayuge District were razed by a mysterious fire on November 5.

Sources at the UPDF facility told this newspaper that the stores went up in flames at night, destroying a sizeable section before it was put out by a fire engine.

The police were not involved in extinguishing the fire as the facility has fire-fighting equipment.

The army spokesman, Brig Richard Karemire, declined to comment about the progress of the investigation.

“That is our investigation; it is an internal matter,” Brig Karemire said in a brief telephone interview before hanging up.

Sources at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Mbuya told Sunday Monitor that one person, a human resource officer at the Ministry of Defence, was on November 22 interrogated over the matter and held briefly before being released.

It is, however, understood that though this arrest was triggered by events in Magamaga, it was in connection to the part he played in the interdiction of the ministry’s former stores supervisor, Mr Paul Nabugere.

Mr Nabugere was reportedly interdicted in November 2016 but was not given time to formally handover office, a scenario which investigators suspect to have resulted in lapses in security and management of the ministry’s stores across the country.

Other sources say investigators are examining the possibility that the fire was started deliberately to cover up theft of military uniforms and jungle boots, which the sources say have a market in a neighbouring country.

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Publish date : 2018-12-30 09:11:36

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