Uganda: How Kitatta Walked to the Judgment Day

Kampala — On January 20, 2018, the patron of the defunct Boda Boda 2010 Association Abdallah Kitatta was arrested by operatives attached to the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).

Kitatta, who was yesterday convicted of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition before the General Court Martial at Makindye, was arrested from Vine Tea Hotel room at Wakaliga-Nateete in Rubaga Division.

At the time of arrest, soldiers, who testified in the court, said he had a pistol with live bullets without holding a valid firearms certificate while his bodyguard Sowali Ngobi a police detective, who was seated in Kitatta's car in the hotel courtyard had a pistol and an SMG.

Court found that it was unlawfully held. The State said that the ammunition are ordinarily a monopoly of the defence forces.

Both Kitatta and Ngobi were convicted on charges of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition and await court's punishment to be determined today.

Kitatta was arrested during the three-day operation of January 19- 21, 2018 as a result of the need to arrest a prime suspect in the murder of the slain Case Clinic accountant, Francis Ekalungar.

According to the court record, Kitatta was trailed with the help of telephone trackers and finally found him in one of the hotel rooms where he had locked himself in the toilet.

Witnesses testified that upon arrest, Kitatta was found armed with a golden pistol.

It is stated that the soldiers commanded by Maj David Agaba raided the offices of Boda Boda 2010 and found two pairs of military uniform, seven military headgears and four rounds of ammunition.

At that time, the army officers sought to arrest two suspects, Huzairu Kiwalabye and Deo Iga. Kiwalabye is Kitatta's brother. The duo was charged with murder and referred to High Court.

On February 13, 2018, it was tears at the army court after Kitatta was arraigned before court and pleaded not guilty to the charges of unlawful possession of fire arms and later on remanded to military prison.

On March 19, the court declined to grant an application to transfer Kitatta from Makindye Military Prison to Luzira Prison, citing security reasons.

In May 2018, Kitatta applied for bail both in the army court and the High Court but lost the applications.

On May 23, 2018, Kitatta lost an application in which he sought to block his trial before the General Court Martial.

High Court judge Yasin Nyanzi dismissed Kitatta's application, saying it was filed before a wrong court.

Who is Kitatta, the NRM vigilante?

kampala. Former patron of the Boda Boda 2010 Association Abdallah Kitatta was yesterday convicted for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition after one year and four months in jail since his arrest.

Kitatta was the chairperson of the ruling NRM party for Rubaga Division at the time of his arrest on January 20 last year. He was arrested at Vine Tea Hotel in Wakaliga, Rubaga.

His detention came after a group of people attempted to block the arrest of his brother Huzairu Kiwalabye, who was charged with the murder of former Case Hospital accountant Francis Ekalungar.

Kitatta was arrested and charged jointly with 11 others among them a police detective, Sowali Ngobi.

Born in Kisanjufu Village in Mukono District, Kitatta's lack of privilege did not prevent him from charting his own path.

He is reported to have used his position as an NRM leader in Rubaga to convince the police leadership at that time headed by Gen Kale Kayihura that there was need to disband Kampala Union Boda Boda Cyclists Association.

Gen Kayihura is also facing trial in the same military court on separate charges.

In Kitatta's view, the Kampala association had embraced hooligans who burnt Nateete Police Station during the Opposition's Walk-to-Work protests in 2011.

He created his own body Boda Boda 2010 Association to replace the Kampala one.

Kitatta's association took a semblance of a militia outfit, which he headed as patron after a hastily arranged election.

Kitatta's rise to prominence came at the time Opposition leader Kizza Besigye attempted to rally his supporters into mass street protests shortly after the 2011 general election, which he lost to President Museveni.

A mobiliser for Mr Museveni at the time, Kitatta created an alternative grassroots network to defuse the Opposition threat, which move endeared him to the State.

Kitatta reportedly had the backing of Gen Kayihura and openly clashed with the then Security minister, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde.

He told Lt Gen Tumukunde that as Security minister, he did not have powers to decide leaders of the boda-boda fraternity.

Kitatta appealed to the President to train his ministers on the limit of their roles.

His brutality against political dissent gave his outfit leverage to operate on its own rules outside the established law without security agencies probing his activities.

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