Court Martial issues arrest warrant against Kabaziguruka

By Sania Babirye

A warrant of arrest has been issued against the troubled Nakawa municipality MP Micheal Kabaziguruka.

The arrest warrant has been issued by the seven member team court siting in Makindye chaired by Lt.Gen Andrew Gutti after Hon.Kabaziguruka allegedly failed to turn up in the general court martial to take plea to charges related to treachery and security of the country.

According to Maj. Raphael Mugisha the UPDF lead prosecutor, Kabaziguruka has refused to appear in court for mention of his case since he was granted bail.

Maj. Mugisha told court that although Hon.Kabaziguruka secured an Interim order in the constitution court against his trial in the army court, the order had since lapsed after the same court annulled Injunction orders issued by a single judge.

The prosecutor says that following that development Hon.Kabaziguruka can no longer use the expired order as a defense not to appear in court.

Major Mugisha has now asked court to order military police to arrest Kabaziguruka saying that on two occasions the MP has been summoned and personally telephoned to appear in court but all in vain.

Maj. Mugisha has also told court that investigations into the case are complete against Kabaziguruka and 25 others but Hearing cannot start in the absence of one accused person.

In October 2016 high court Justice Yasin Nyanzi granted a 10 million non cash bond to the MP while his four sureties including FDC party president Gen Mugisha Muntu, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Hon. Moses Kasibante and Hon.Ibrahim Ssemuju were ordered to pay a 100 million non cash bond after being on remand at Kigo prison since June 2016.

Kabaziguruka is charged together with other 25 people including UPDF officers for allegedly contriving a plot to infiltrate defense forces and prejudice it’s security to overthrow the government of Uganda by use of firearms .

The offenses were allegedly committed between February and June 2016 in districts of Kampala,Wakiso and Luweero.

Nakawa MP Kabaziguruka rejects trial before court martial

The Nakawa Member of Parliament Micheal Kabaziguruka and eight others have rejected the trial before a military court saying their trial is illegal.

Kabaziguruka who has also opted to represent himself before the army Court Martial, stated that he cannot have a lawyer in an illegal process.

Kabaziguruka and 24 others are accused of committing  treason against the Government of Uganda. They were dragged to court in June and have since been on remand.

Eight other suspects, who claim they are civilians have rejected to be tried in the Court Martial, asking to be transferred to a civilian court.

Kabaziguruka was appearing for hearing today at the Makindye-based army court before its chairman, Lt General Andrew Gutti. The legislator told court that he is fully armed to represent himself since he is being tried by the wrong court.

He told court that he and seven others are being tried by the Court Martial and yet they are civilians, hence the need for him to represent himself.

He says he will not be a party to the court proceedings if the suspects are not transferred to a civilian court.

Meanwhile Namara Fredric,a  retired soldier was the centre of  attraction after he kept silent when the court was conducting the roll call. According to Namara, he was dismissed by the army in disgrace and yet the court keeps on referring to him as a soldier. He also said his case cannot be heard by the court whose jurisdiction they do not agree with and rejected the state counsel to represent him.

Another suspect, Jacob Obua, also rejected the defence lawyer before court convinced him to accept being represented.He told court that having dropped out of the military, he cannot now be referred to as private and thus he should be tried in the civilian court.

Lt. General Andrew Gutti adjourned the case to 16th August asking the defence to make their submission in regards to the jurisdiction of the court.

According to Gideon Katinda, the Judge advocate at the Court Martial, although the suspects are rejecting state lawyers, they are mandated by law to have representation.

According to the defence lawyer Eugene Kabagambe Eugene, court should first handle the matter of illegality as expressed by the accused.