Former AMISOM commander jailed for swindling fuel

Lt. Col Eugene Ssebugwawo



Lt. Col Eugene Ssebugwawo, the ex-commander of the Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF) under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for diverting fuel meant for peace keeping operations.

Ssebugwawo, the former in charge of logistics and administration under Battle Group Nine plus (BGIX+) in Somalia, will serve his sentence at the Military Police headquarters in Makindye, a Kampala suburb.

Delivering the sentence, the court chairman, Maj. Gen. Levy Karuhanga, said the court’s decision is reflective of the pleas of the defense and prosecution made after the accused was convicted of personal interest endangering operation efficiency on Tuesday.

The court, he explained took into consideration the fact that Ssebugwawo was a first time offender without a criminal record. The accused had so-far spent three years on remand at Makindye.

He said the court also took into account pleas from the state to hand down a deterrent sentence because such crimes are rampant among UPDF officers and that the convict’s actions were injurious to the image of the Ugandan army on the international stage.

“You are hereby sentenced to 18 months in detention. It is your constitutional right to appeal against the decision of this court in 14 days if you are not satisfied,” Karuhanga ruled.

Ssebugwawo was found guilty of diverting 7000– 8000 liters of diesel fuel in Somalia where Uganda has peace keepers under the auspices of the African Union, between April 2012 and May 2013.

Prosecution led by Fredrick Kangwamu stated that Ssebugwawo sold fuel for his personal gains in exchange for money.

Prosecution witness Ayub Masumbuko earlier on testified that on each delivery of fuel, the recipient – Abdulla; gave him $5350 (about sh19m). The overall amount involved in the scam was about $72400 (about sh188m).

Masumbuko would give money to prosecution witness two, WO1 Martin Rugendo who handed it over to the accused.

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