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Court Martial finds Kitatta guilty

Kitatta, once the most feared 'vigilante' operating under the ambit of Gen Kale Kayihura, fell back to hard earth in 2018 after his godfather's fall from the graces of President Museveni.

JUSTICE | The Military Court has convicted Boda boda 2010 patron Abdallah Kitatta of unlawful possession of firearms.

Kitatta, once the most feared ‘vigilante’ operating under the ambit of Gen Kale Kayihura, fell back to hard earth in 2018 after his godfather’s fall from the graces of President Museveni.

At the beginning of his trial, the man who used to act like the law itself and decide the fate of many a person, was left weeping in court as reality caught up with him. Gen Kayihura had been sacked and locked up in Makindye Military Barracks.

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He has made wearing the ruling party’s yellow colour his personalised court appearance, perhaps to get the attention of the man he claimed to work for — President Museveni — whose ruling party uses yellow as its official colour.

But nothing appears to have worked for Kitatta, who once declared himself the NRM and Movement in his own right. On Monday, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti ended any hope of Kitatta wriggling free from the clutches of the law, ruling that evidence proved beyond reasonable doubt that Kitatta was in illegal possession of fire arms and ammunition.

“Kitatta has been found guilty of unlawful possession of fire arms and is hereby convicted of the offence,” Gen Gutti said.

Kitatta was arrested in January 2018 and jointly charged with his bodyguard Sowali Ngobi and Ibrahim Ssekajja, his driver, with being found in unlawful possession of an SMG rifle and a pistol without a valid firearm licence.

The guns and ammunition had been recovered from his home in Wakaliga, Rubaga Division, days after his arrest.

The army also accused the group of unlawful possession of military equipment, including headgear and uniforms which are a monopoly of the defence forces.

Kitatta had always maintained his innocence amid efforts to protect his former boss Kayihura. He denied all the charges and maintained that he was only being victimised.

He had also protested his prosecution before the military court, saying he was a civilian, but such is the hand of fate that it dealt Kitatta a cruel reminder of how his group had dragged many civilians before the court martial when they wielded power.

The court also convicted Ngobi and Ssekajja of the same offences.

The offences against the group are criminal in nature and attract maximum sentences of death and life imprisonment, respectively, according to the UPDF Act 2005.

The General Court Martial, sitting at Makindye Military Barracks, will decide on his sentence in coming days.

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