Col Felix Kulayigye, the UPDF chief political commissar has been suspended from his office pending investigations. The UPDF spokesperson Lt. Col Paddy Ankunda confirmed Col. Kulayigye’s suspension on his twitter handle yesterday evening.
In June this year, Col. Kulayige was implicated in a gold deal that went bad. Richard Kamugisha, the managing director of the Ntinda-based Matrich Holdings Limited, a company which deals in minerals, reported Kulayige to the army leadership for what his lawyers claim was kidnap of employees and theft of company properties.
According to the Daily Monitor, Ms Brenda Murungi who is also a niece and business partner of Col Kulayige approached Matrich Holdings in June this year with a unidentified Congolese businessman who carried two kilogrammes of gold in a bag. She introduced herself as a business lady and the Congolese as a seller and wanted the gold tested for purity.
They were charged $200 (about Ugx. 667, 000) for testing the two kilos of gold whose purity was confirmed and the transaction receipted.
Ms Murungi was to later cash in for the gold, at an agreed sum of $60,000 (about Ugx. 200m ) but reportedly paid the Congolese $49,900 (about Ugx.166.5m), leaving a balance of $10,000 (Ugx. 33.3m).
In a rather intriguing twist of events, Ms Murungi claimed the gold had been stolen at the premises and asked the company to produce the precious mineral. Mr. Richard Kamugisha advised her to report the matter to police since he was neither part of their deal with the Congolese lady nor did he know the lady.
“My part was to test the gold and now she turned and demanded that we produce the Congolese man. I advised her that if she had been cheated by the Congolese, she should report the matter to police. Instead she said she had her army officer and that is how Kulaigye came into the picture.” Mr. Kamugisha told the Daily Monitor recently.
In the next few hours, Kamugasha offices were raided by Col Kulayige accompanied by security operatives from police’s Flying Squad, regular police officers and plain clothed officers attached to the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence and forcefully entered the premises.
The three employees of Matrich Holdings Limited were picked up and taken to Central Police Station.
Mr. Kamugisha through his lawyers registered a formal a complaint dated June 18, to the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Katumba Wamala, who promised to investigate the matter.