Court Martial: Kitatta and his Boda Boda 2010 members have case to answer
CRIME | Boda-Boda 2010 supremo Abudalla Kitatta has a case to answer the General Court Martial in Makindye has ruled.
Lieutenant General Andrew Guti, who chairs the military court, on Monday ruled on behalf of seven other panelists explained how prosecution had availed enough evidence and the process demonstrated that there is a prema facie case to warrant Kitatta plus nine members of his Boda-Boda 2010 group to defend themselves.
A few weeks ago, Kitatta’s lawyers led by Samuel Sanywa had insisted that Kitatta plus 12 of his co-accused should walk free without putting them on the defence.
The lawyer reasoned the group should enjoy their freedoms again since a catalogue of prosecution witnesses had failed to adduce evidence incriminating the accused on five counts of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition and one count of unlawful possession of military stores.
‘Possessing military equipment’
Kitatta and his gang are particularly accused of being of being in possession of military equipment includes two pistols, SMG rifle and 50 rounds of ammunition for the firearms, among others but Sanywa insisted that is no evidence that connects the accused persons with the items recovered.
But in his ruling. Gen Guti made it clear that Kitatta and his co-conspirators such as Ngobi Sowali and Ibrahim Ssekagya were in the same vehicle UAK 135B in which an SMG rifle was found and once they realised that they were in trouble, they tried to vanish.
“The three have a case to answer for being in possession of a firearm unlawfully,” Guti ruled, much to Kitatta’s disappointment.
Kitatta, Sowali and Ssekagya are in more trouble because the court tasked them to explain why there were several rounds of ammunition and a pistol in Kitatta’s vehicle, which they were occupying at the time arrest.
Separately, Kitatta, an avid supporter of the ruling NRM and also the party’s Lubaga Division chairperson, has been told to explain the golden pistol that was found with him in a hotel room at Vine Tea along Wakaliga road, Kampala.
“The pistol was found with him in the hotel and not the vehicle where the other two remained,’’ Guti further clarified on Kitatta’s infamous “pistol of gold.”
‘In trouble with Kitatta’
The court also ruled that the nine members of Boda Boda 2010 and Kitatta had to answer for the military uniforms and caps found at the group’s offices in Wakaliga.
Other people who are equally in trouble as Kitatta are; Joel Kibirige, John Ssebandeke, Fred Bwanika, Hassan Ssematta, Amon Twinomujuni, and Hussein Mugema.
However, the court declined to grant an order to the defence lawyers allowing them to extract footage from surveillance cameras at Vine Tea Hotel to be used in their defence as had been requested.
“Vine Tea is a private business and the court martial has no powers over them. Go talk to them about it,” Guti said.
Having in mind that once found guilty of the said offences, according to Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Act, 2005 they stand a chance of serving a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Kitatta and his crew have been told to start their defence on January 7, 2019.