Uganda: I Won't Drop Bobi Petition - Mabirizi

Bobi Wine describes 'torture' by soldiers.
4 September 2018

Kampala — Lawyer Male Mabirizi has said he will continue pursuing the petition challenging the prosecution of civilians in the military court despite the General Court Martial having called off the trial of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine.

Mr Mabirizi filed the petition in the Constitutional Court a fortnight ago challenging the trial of Bobi Wine in the military court.

Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, Mr Mabirizi said his petition is intended to strike down all sections of the UPDF Act, which are unconstitutional for the benefit of civilians who may be subjected to martial law.

"Yes, the petition was partly touching on Bobi Wine's case and I was seeking his unconditional release from the military court. Thank God that my plea was heeded to early enough but I will not drop the same petition since many other civilians apart from Bobi are still suffering before this court," Mr Mabirizi said by telephone on Sunday.

"The petition has to continue because when you abandon it, under the UPDF Act, when convicted for being in possession of a firearm, the maximum sentence is death and yet under the Firearms Act in a civilian court, the maximum punishment is 10 years or a fine," he added.

Dropped charges

On August 23, the General Court Martial dropped charges of being in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition against Bobi Wine but he was shortly rearrested and taken to a magistrate's court and charged with treason.

The musician cum politician, flew out of the country at the weekend for specialised treatment after his alleged violet arrest by security personnel in Arua Town mid last month following the chaotic by-elections.

Mr Mabirizi cites Section 119 (1) (g) of the UPDF Act, which he says subjects non-members of the military to martial law, which he said is inconsistent with Articles 8A, 20 (1), 20 (2), 21 (1), 22 (1), 28 (1) of the Constitution.

Civilians

Daily Monitor could not readily establish the number of civilians being tried before the military court.

However, some of the known civilians before the General Court Martial include; Tony Kipoi Nsubuga (Ex- Bubulo West MP), Micheal Kabaziguruka (Nakawa Division MP) and Abdullah Kitatta, former patron of Boda Boda 2010.

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