26 March 2019

Uganda: Kitatta Moved Back to Luzira Prison

Kampala — The military court at Makindye yesterday transferred the patron of Boda Boda 2010 Association, Abudallah Kitatta, back to Luzira prison.

The court ordered the transfer upon the request by the prosecution. Kitatta was initially remanded to Luzira prison but was later moved to Makindye Military Barracks following claims of threats upon his life.

Kitatta is on trial on charges of unlawful possession of firearms and military supplies.

"I have no objection to this. The case is coming to an end. The state has found that there is relaxed mood at Luzira prison unlike it was before. I order that Kitatta be transferred to Luzira from Makindye Military Barracks. His security will be guaranteed there," the court chairman, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti, ruled.

The state prosecutor, Capt Samuel Masereje, asked court for transfer of Kitatta to Kigo prison, but the defence lawyer, Mr Shaban Sanywa, objected saying his client would not be safe in either Kigo or Luzira prison.

Three witnesses who were to testify in defence of Kitatta, including Pte Kenneth Okello, the officer-in-charge of Old Kampala Police Armoury, and Sgt Allan Matsiko, Kitatta's second bodyguard, did not show up despite receiving court summons. The third witness, a manager of Vine Tea Hotel, where Kitatta was arrested, did not show up either. He insisted he would only appear upon receiving court summons. With the absence of these witnesses, the defence closed their evidence.

The Uganda prisons spokesperson, Mr Frank Baine, dismissed claims of safety threats at Luzira prison.

"I have never heard of Kitatta being insecure at Luzira. We only follow orders from courts. When they say we want so and so, we do as they say. We have never failed to protect him," Mr Baine said by telephone yesterday.

Kitatta and the nine co-accused were sent to Luzira prison until April 8 when both the prosecution and defence will make their final submissions.

He has been on remand since February 2018.

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