ADJUMANI, UGANDA: The Adjumani District LC5 Chairman Mr Anyama Ben has appealed to the UPDF 4th division Gulu command to expedite investigations into the high-profile accusations of torturing civilians levied against the embattled Major Travers Kibuuka and have him tried in Zoka where he committed the alleged crimes.
Mr Anyama who was addressing journalists in his office today, May 2, 2023, condemned the acts of torture committed by Maj Kibuuka and said such atrocities remind the people of Adjumani and Madi sub-region of the heinous and horrendous human rights abuses orchestrated by Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA)under former president Obote Milton II regime.
“We the leaders in Adjumani and Madi sub-region are closely following the investigations and any sinister move for impunity will be met with an equal amount of resistance, all we want is to have Major Travers prosecuted like his ally the Madi paramount chief Drani Stephen who has been remanded to Openzinzi prison,” said Mr Anyama.
He added that he does not expect the UPDF 4th division commander Brigadier Bamwiseki Bonny to shield Major Kibuuka from the court-martial which he notes will be tantamount to a serious breach of the UPDF Act loss of confidence for the Army.
Mr Anyama further advised the army leadership in Gulu to restrain Major Kibuuka from his media outburst where he has dragged the names of leaders in Adjumani, accusing them of a witchhunt saying such actions by the officer will dent the good relationship between civilians and the UPDF command in Gulu.
Mr Anyama said it is not in contention in Adjumani that on April 11, 2023, Major Kibuuka tortured two women and scores of men, where he broke the arm and introduced a stick in the private part of one of the women, and broke the leg of the other when the paramount chief of Madi Chief Stephen Drani was watching in the torturer camp in Ngoro settlement area.
The chairman’s comments followed a counter-story that appeared on URN and Independent websites claiming that the UPDF Commander was demanding shs 600m from DailyExpress for a story published on April 17 which pinned him for inflicting torture on two women in the Ngoro settlement area.
The Ali Clan Chief, Mr Chandiga Ben who owns the land in Zoka said there is no way Major Travers Kibuuka can be exonerated from the investigations since he has been a thorn in the flesh of his subjects and has variously indulged himself in land matters without consulting him.
Mr Chandiga said the ruthless Major decided to build an ally with the paramount chief of Madi so that he could execute land deals without attracting the attention of the leaders in Adjumani and authority of the Ali chiefdom.
The Chief wondered why the UPDF command in Gulu is pampering Major Kibuuka from being prosecuted when his accomplice Mr Drani Stephen, the Paramount Chief of Madi is in prison over the same offence and when both women who were tortured identified Major Trevor without doubts.
“How can we work with UPDF again when they often transfer soldiers who inhumanely treat civilians and yet claim they are the people’s army when they are condoning crimes and adoring impunity?”
The Adjumani RDC Taban Data Peter said that when the DailyExpress broke the news of the torture of women on orders of Major Travers Kibuuka, he (the RDC) instructed the police to institute investigations and he in view of that notified the UPDF command in Gulu who swung into action and removed the Major from Zoka Barracks as investigations into the case continue.
The RDC said the two women, Anzoa Juliet, 19, whose arm was broken were admitted to Adjumani Hospital but discharged and is recovering from home while Lokua Beatrice, 35, was also discharged from the hospital and nursing a broken leg at home.
“Am appealing to the UPDF command to expedite the investigations of torture labelled against Major Trevor so that the Wanainchi in Adjumani will restore their trust in the army otherwise Major Trevor has smashed the image of the army in Adjumani”.
The UPDF 4th Division spokesperson Major Telesphur Byamumanya confirmed the long-established withdrawal of Major Kibuuka from Zoka Barracks’ over the alleged torture of civilians and once the investigations are concluded the public will be informed on the next course of action
Baseless Threats from Maj Kibuuka
This publication’s Senior Investigative Journalist (Amacha Goli) who broke the news of the torturer said the threat of court action by Major Travers Kibuuka is empty and baseless as he fears the details in the story pin him over the alleged crimes, and that the alleged notice of intention to sue and claims for shs 600m in damages is diversionary which will not bail him from the predicament.
“If indeed Major Travers Kibuuka is innocent, how come he has been immediately withdrawn from Zoka barracks by the 4th division commander Brigadier Bamwiseki Bonny and his accomplice the paramount chief of Madi Drani Stephen has been charged with attempted murder and assault and sent to Openzinzi prison? Amacha wondered.
“It is so pitiful that the embattled Major has now decided to elicit the support of some unscrupulous journalists who through armchair journalism have filled stories without cross-checking facts on the ground hence creating disinformation and misinformation over the torture and assault occasioned on innocent civilians in Adjumani,” he added.
Amacha added that such unscrupulous stories and unprofessional conduct of the write points to desperate journalists and editors of some media houses who endorse publishing any kind of story for lack of credible regional reporters or correspondents for keeping their story chain or banks.
Meanwhile, the people in Zoka area especially farmers are jubilating the withdrawal of Major Kibuuka reporting that since his withdrawal from the camp, the black days that were characterized by illegal arrests, beatings and incarcerations are now no more.
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