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Widow Accuses Three SFC Soldiers Of Assault :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Widow Accuses Three SFC Soldiers Of Assault

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According to Nampijja, the soldiers based at the SFC barracks in Nsamizi, Entebbe Municipality have made her life difficult since she is currently unable to work, walk or sit on her own yet she is the sole breadwinner to her three children aged 25, 15 and 8 years.
Shanitah Nampijja, a widow and resident of Magala

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Shanitah Nampijja, a widow in Entebbe municipality is accusing three soldiers from the elite Special Forces Command-SFC of assault. According to Nampijja, the soldiers based at the SFC barracks in Nsamizi, Entebbe Municipality have made her life difficult since she is currently unable to work, walk or sit on her own yet she is the sole breadwinner to her three children aged 25, 15 and 8 years.

When our reporter visited her at home on Saturday morning, the 43-year-old Nampijja was lying on her stomach on a mattress placed in the living room. "This is my bed now. I struggle to walk and cannot sit yet. Three soldiers beat me up and wanted to kill me, " she says, "I do not know them but I hope that  I'll eventually get justice." 

Nampijja however says that she knows one of the soldiers as Moses Bulitya because he dropped his driving license near her home. She claims that Bulitya attacked her around 9:30 pm on Thursday, June 23 as she was heading home after closing her kiosk along Nsamizi-Magala road. She is a vendor of fresh vegetables, fruits, and other food items such as silverfish. 

She was close to her house which is a stone's throw from the fence of Nsamizi barracks when Bulitya allegedly tried to rape her. He allegedly first hit her on the back with a stick, then held both her hands using one hand and covered her mouth with another hand.

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Shortly after he allegedly started strangling Nampijja to gag her from shouting for help. But Nampijja says that she wrestled with him as she made an alarm for help.

Some people on the roadside and neighborhood came to her rescue and found Bulitya strangling her. "He was found red-handed with his pants down," Nampijja says.

She narrates that the rescuers beat up Bulitya and pursued him as he tried to flee and was captured by residents in the trading center in Magala. 

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She says two unknown soldiers from Nsamizi barracks ran to the scene and rescued Bulitya from the mob.

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The two soldiers told the residents that they were taking Bulitya and Nampijja to the hospital for treatment since they were all bleeding from injuries resulting from their fight and mob action respectively. Nampijja says that the soldiers hired two Boda boda cyclists to transport her and Bulitya. She, however, says that the soldiers directed the riders to stop at the gate of Nsamizi barracks instead of proceeding to Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital.

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Nampijja says she was saved by a soldier who was driving out of the barracks that night. This soldier told his colleagues to stop beating Nampijja and instead take her to Entebbe Police Station if she had committed a crime. But the duo rejected his proposal and said he should instead drive them to Botanical Gardens where they will kill Nampijja and dump her body into Lake Victoria. 

"The two soldiers pushed me into the boot of the vehicle and the driver stopped at the junction near National Medical Stores because the workers had created a huge hole on Kampala road due to construction works. So  cars could not pass through...this driver pulled me out of the boot and left me on the tarmac."

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The two soldiers untied Nampijja's hands and ordered her to follow them to Entebbe Police Station where she spent the night and a day in detention. The soldiers accused Nampijja of assault vide police file number 03/24/06/2022. By the time of filing this story, police officers were yet to find the case file and identities of the complainants.

She was released on police bond on June 24 and instructed to report to the police station every week. She has since reported six times and is expected to report next week on August 23.

On June 27, Nampijja underwent a medical examination and the report showed that she was in pain and had injuries that were "about 4 days old". Nampijja used the report to file a complaint of assault vide police SD 48/25/06/2022 at Entebbe Police Station.

She, however, says that the police have failed to reveal the names of the two soldiers who reported the case of assault on Bulitya's behalf, which has frustrated her efforts to pursue her tormentors. 

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Brigadier General Felix Kulayige, the Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces -UPDF spokesperson, says that the army will follow up on the matter. "If it is true that the woman was assaulted, we shall ensure the perpetrators are caught and punished accordingly because such actions taint our image," he said.

SFC Spokesperson Major Jimmy Omara also promised to follow up on the matter. "We will get all those soldiers and also listen to this woman so that we can know what exactly happened. Appropriate action will be taken thereafter," he said. In April 2020, UPDF 4th Division Court martial sentenced six soldiers to six months in jail on charges of assault and causing bodily harm to civilians at the Elegu border while enforcing the nighttime curfew.