Kampala — The Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) has said it has enough evidence to pin jailed patron of Boda Boda 2010 Association, Abudallah Kitatta , on charges of unlawful possession of firearms and military equipment.
Mr Kitatta's lawyer had asked the General Court Martial to dismiss the case against him and 12 others for lack of evidence.
However, the army prosecutor, Maj Rapheal Mugisha, told court that the prosecution evidence on record and testimonies of witnesses are consistent and truthful and will prove the offences against Mr Kitatta and his co-accused.
On the offence of unlawful possession of military stores, Maj Mugisha said the accused persons were found in possession of clothes or arms or equipment of the defence forces.
"There was no lawful excuse to possess the said equipment," he submitted.
The military court heard that it was not correct that Mr Kitatta and his co-accused were in cells when the military uniforms, eight rounds of SMG ammunition, four rounds of pistol ammunition and other items were recovered from Wakaliga at Boda Boda 2010 offices. The prosecution said some of them were arrested at the scene of crime.
Maj Mugisha argued that Mr Kitatta was the patron of Boda Boda 2010 and the said exhibits were found in his office although he was not present at the time but is still deemed to have been in constructive possession of what was recovered in the said office.
"S.20 Penal Code Act Cap 120 provides that when two or more persons form a common intention to prosecute unlawful purpose in conjunction with one another and the prosecution of that purpose an offence is committed of such nature, that it was a probable consequence of the prosecution of that purpose each of them is deemed to have committed the offence," Maj Mugisha submitted.
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 who is indicted for alleged unlawful possession of firearms.
Others 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 Mr Kitatta.
The army prosecution states that on January 21 at Vine Hotel in Wakaliga, Nateete in Rubaga Division 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 such a suspect under military law.
Hearing continues today.
Some Previous court proceedings
January. Boda Boda 2010 Association patron, Abdallah Kitatta and 12 others are battling cases that could lead to a death sentence on conviction.
February. Mr Kitatta and his co-accused persons, all members of infamous Boda Boda 2010 were charged before Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence's (CMI) Unit Disciplinary Court (UDC) at Mbuya with five counts, one of which attracts a death sentence on conviction.
April. The Army court ordered prosecution to disclose all exhibits and witness statements that they intend to rely on in the trial of the patron of Boda boda 2010 Association
Kitatta is charged with unlawful possession of fire arms, among other cases.
May. Mr Kitatta cried in court as state presented a gold coated pistol, as one of the exhibits.
July. Kitatta's Court-martial trial resumes, says golden pistol was not his.
August. The General Court Martial chairman, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti, kicked out one of the lawyers representing former Boda Boda 2010 leader for alleged misconduct during the trial proceedings.
City lawyer Jimmy Muyanja was ordered out of the court and told never to return.