8 August 2018

Uganda: Military Court Kicks Out Kitatta's Lawyer

Kampala — The General Court Martial chairman, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti, yesterday kicked out one of the lawyers representing former Boda Boda 2010 leader Abdallah Kitatta for alleged misconduct during the trial proceedings.

City lawyer Jimmy Muyanja was ordered out of the court and told never to return.

How it started

Mr Muyanja's trouble started when he stood up and banged the table, accusing prosecutor Maj Raphael Mugisha of signalling answers to a prosecution witness, Pte Richard Kasaija, during cross-examination.

"My lord, the prosecutor is here signalling answers... " he shouted while banging the table saying "it is unacceptable."

However, the banging infuriated Lt Gen Gutti, who responded with seething rage.

"Are you silly? Whom are you banging tables for....get out. Military Police should escort this man, never come back to my court," Lt Gen Gutti thundered.

Request dismissed

He also dismissed Mr Kitatta's application to present CCTV footage evidence to challenge Pte Kasaija's testimony that he [Kitatta] was arrested with a gun and military supplies.

Pte Kasaija, attached to the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), testified that upon arrest, Mr Kitatta was found in possession of a pistol with five bullets and military uniforms.

He also testified that the co-accused persons were found with an SMG rifle with 20 bullets, machetes, iron bars, military uniforms and sticks, which they held while planning to carry out a demonstration.

Mr Kitatta has been on remand in military prison since February. He is jointly charged with 12 others, including Mr John Ssebandeke, a crime preventer from Nabweru in Wakiso District over alleged unlawful possession of firearms.

Other suspects are: Joel Kibirige, Matia Ssenfuka, Hassan Ssebata, Jonathan Kayondo, Hassan Ssengoba, Sunday Ssemogerere, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika, Amon Twinomujuni, Sowali Ngoobi and Ibrahim Sekajja. They are members of Boda Boda 2010 Association, formerly headed by Kitatta.

They all denied the charges.

The army court further remanded Mr Kitatta and his co-accused until September 10 to enable prosecution present the second witness.

The case

Prosecution. The army prosecution states that on January 21 at Vine Hotel in Wakaliga, Nateete in Rubaga Division of Kampala District, Mr Kitatta and his co-accused were found in possession of two sub-machine guns, three pistols, bullets and military uniforms without a valid firearms licence and which items are a monopoly of the defence forces. The suspects were arraigned before the military courts under Section 119 of the UPDF Act, which provides for prosecution of a person under military law.

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