UPDF soldier arrested after kicking pregnant woman to point of death

A pregnant woman is fighting for her life at Apac hospital after she was allegedly assaulted by an unidentified Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldier at Maruzi Ranch last week.

Ms Winny Awino, 18, a resident of Abongo-Okere Village, Tarogali Parish in Ibuje Sub-county, claimed the soldier beat her badly after she denied him sex. 

The incident took place as dozens of soldiers were carrying out a patrol at Maruzi Ranch in Ibuje Sub-county on August 5.

According to Ms. Awino who is five months pregnant, the soldier who allegedly assaulted her is among those currently providing security to a company dealing in palm oil at the government ranch. 

“When we heard a voice of a person crying down the valley and we went there to find out what was happening but this hungry soldier left his colleagues and started chasing us up to the home,” she narrated. 

Winny Awino on her hospital bed at Apac hospital on August 10. PHOTO BY SANTO OJOK

“My friend then locked herself in the house but unfortunately he rounded me up and started demanding for sex. The soldier even threatened to shoot me with a gun if I denied him sex. When I declined his sexual advances, the soldier then beat me up to a point where I couldn’t cry anymore. He later took off when he saw some people coming towards my home,” Ms Awino added.

When contacted, the UPDF 5th Division spokesperson, Lt Hassan Ahamed Kato, said the suspect was already under safe custody pending investigations.

“We have arrested the suspect and investigations are ongoing which will later pave way to dispense justice if found guilty,” he said on phone on Monday.

Mr. Moses Ekudot, Apac District police commander, confirmed the incident saying they were investigating the matter.

He said a case of attempted rape has been registered against the officer but declined to divulge further details saying it would sabotage the investigations.

“I can’t speak anything more than what I have told you,” Mr Ekudot said.

The area Resident District Commissioner, Ms Beatrice Akello Akori, who is the chairperson of the district security committee, condemned the act. She assured the public that the suspect would soon be brought to book.

“He will be arrested and taken to court to answer the charges against him,” the RDC said on Saturday.