9 February 2018

Uganda: Journalists Blocked From Covering Kitatta Case

Photo: The Monitor
The patron of Boda Boda 2010, Abdallah Kitatta

Reporters from different Ugandan media houses have been denied access to cover court proceedings in which Bodaboda 2010 patron, Abdallah Kitatta and 12 others are battling with five counts, one of which is failure to protect war materials.

The army on Friday blocked journalists from accessing the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) Unit Disciplinary Court (UDC) at Mbuya Army Barracks on grounds that it's not an open court.

Kitatta's co-accused include, Sowali Ngobi, Amon Twinomujuni, Joel Kibirige, Matia Ssenfuka, Hassan Ssebata, Johnson Kayondo, Hassan Ssengoba, Sunday Ssemogerere, John Ssebandeke, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika and Ibrahim Ssekaja.

Kitatta and his co-accused were on January 29 arraigned in court and charged before the case was adjourned to today (February 9, 2018) for further mention. However, when journalists turned up at CMI Unit Disciplinary Court (UDC) at Mbuya Army Barracks to cover the proceedings, army personnel at the quarter guard denied them access.

The army last month said the suspects also face unlawful possession of military stores which attracts life imprisonment. The offences are contrary to Section 122 (1) and (2) (h) and (i) of the UPDF act, 2005.

Kitatta was arrested on January 20, a day after CMI apprehended his young brother Huzairu Kiwalabye in connection with the kidnap and killing of Case Hospital accountant, Francis Ekalungar.

Ekalungar was kidnapped on January 2 as he took the hospital's money worth Shs15m to the bank. His body was discovered a day later at Kajjansi, burnt beyond recognition.

Army explained that Kitatta was arrested for trying to sabotage CMI investigations with threats, protests and blocking roads. The army arrested at least 30 members of Bodaboda 2010 but has since released 18.

CMI took over investigation into Ekalungar's gruesome murder after police detectives claimed they were stuck with case since it involved Boda boda 2010 a group loyal to the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura.

When Kitatta heard about his brother's arrested, he mobilized his goons and they staged a night protest and blocked roads in Natete, Ndeeba and Busega until they were dispersed by army and police.

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