KAMPALA – Reports reaching our desk indicate that former coordinator of intelligence services, Gen David Sejusa and ex-police chief Kale Kayihura, another four-star general battling charges in a military court have reportedly been allowed to retire from the UPDF in July this year.
Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal ruled in the government’s favor in a case in which the Attorney General sought to have Sejusa back into the army.
This followed the 2016 High Court ruling by Justice Margaret Oguli Oumo that Gen Sejusa was entitled to constructive discharge by issuing him with a discharge certificate since he had ceased to be a serving officer in the army from the day his employer withdrew his salary, allowances and other benefits.
The judge declared that Gen Sejusa was no longer subject to military law and ordered the government to pay him Shs750 million as damages for violating his rights when he was arrested, detained, prosecuted and denied bail by the General Court Martial.
However, following the judgment, the Attorney General ran to the Court of Appeal to challenge the finding before the panel of three justices of the Court of Appeal including Christopher Madrama, Irene Mulyagonja, Monica Mugenyi quashed the High Court decision saying that having sought retirement from the army in November 2015 but got no response from the UPDF Commissions Board within the mandatory 90 days, Gen Sejusa ought to have waited for feedback from the board before petitioning the High Court.
Commenting on the ruling, Sejusa “I will not appeal to Supreme Court. Thank you all who stood by me.”
“In 1996-7 case, I won in Constitutional Court, government appealed to Supreme Court and it won. In the 2016 case, I won in High Court government appealed to Court of Appeal.”
The retirement process
The UPDF Conditions and Terms of Service provide that it’s illegal to keep army officers in active service once they clock a certain age but are not promoted to the next rank.
For example, it’s illegal to have an officer at the rank of captain or major, aged 50, in active service.
At the age of 40, if a captain is not promoted to major, the army must retire the officer.
Regulation 28, Cap 307 of the terms of service specifies at which age an officer should be promoted to another rank if not be retired from the service but according to army sources, the UPDF continues to flout section of its own regulations.
From the rank of Lieutenant to Captain, one can apply for early retirement at 40 years, while a Major can leave service at 45.
A Lieutenant Colonel in the UPDF can retire at 47, while a Colonel’s retirement age is 51.
From the rank of 2nd Lieutenant to General, an officer can rightly apply for retirement after 14 years of service, while the lower ranks can retire after nine years.