UPDF soldiers accused of murder ordered to defend themselves

By Sania Babirye
Four suspects including two Uganda Peaple’s Defence Force soldiers have been ordered to defend themselves for the murder of a mobile money dealer in Zaana in Wakiso district.

This is after the General Court Martial sitting in Makindye chaired by Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti ruled that a case to answer had been produced against them.

Some of the evidence the seven members team unanimously based on included that of 16 prosecution witnesses including spouses of the suspects who incriminated them and testimonies of various eye witnesses among others.

The army court ruled that they have carefully evaluated the said evidence and found it substantial in linking them to the said murder and the accused must prove their innocence.

These have now been ordered to start their defense on the 9th of this month but three of tge suspects have informed court that they have chosen to stay silent as their defense.

This means that the suspects will not give any testimony or present witnesses to prove their innocence but court will base on the evidence adduced by state to rule on whether they are guilty or not.

Only one suspect will take the stand to defend himself.

They are charged with murder and aggravated robbery of 6.8 million shillings that belonged to Nalwadda , 400, 000 shillings and a Samsung phone the property of Mwesigwa Kigongo which they allegedly robbed on 14th of May 2019 at Nateete .

The group was already found guilty of robbery and being in possession of two SMG riffles and according to state, they used the same gun to commit the said crimes after serving their sentences.

These were charged and remanded to luzira prison on the 22nd of July this year.

Prosecution states that on the 10th of June 2019 at Zzana cell in Wakiso , private Bob Anichan , private Dennis Mangusho, Stanely Mulunda and Issa Ntale shot dead Harriet Nalwadda together with her employee Moureen Nakabubi before proceeding to murder Edward Walugembe another mobile money dealer of Nateete Church zone in July.

Kyaligonza dragged to court

By Sania Babirye
A UBC Journalist Deogratius Peter Otai has dragged to the High court civil division the controversial Ugandan Ambassador to Burundi Rt. Major General Matayo Kyaligonza seeking over 400 million shillings as damages for allegedly assaulting him.

The suit follows an alleged incident in which the journalist recorded the retired senior soldier together with his two body guards assaulting a female Traffic officer last month in Seeta.

Otai who is also the station manager of Magic FM which is an affiliate station of the National Broadcaster (UBC) says the Maj.Gen and his bodyguards assaulted him while on duty after he recorded them assaulting traffic officer Esther Namaganda on the 24th of February 2019 at Seeta round-about and shared the absurd incident on different social media networks.

In a petition filed jointly with the Uganda Journalist Association (UJA) through their lawyer of Kiiza and Company advocates against Amb. Kyaligonza , his two guards ; CPI Peter Bushindiki and John Robert Okurut and the Attorney General, Otai wants court to order the defendants to compensate him for the violating his fundamental rights to torture, ill-treatment and abstraction from executing his journalistic duties .

According to documents before court,the petitioner claims that he was shocked to Kyaligonja’s two body guards dresses in full UPDF military attire and the Ambassador slapping and cocking a gun to Namaganda.

And that it was this ill and cold treatment that prompted him and to take out his phone and started video recording the incident.

Otai further claims that when the two guards saw him , they confronted him by demanding to know who he was and he introduced himself as a journalist working with the National Broadcaster(UBC), but instead of letting him continue with his work, the guards surprisingly surrounded him , cocked their guns at him , slapped and kicked him with their Military boots while demanding that he deletes the videos and pictures he had taken .

He says that this was done as the crowd that had gathered watched on and by that time he was already fearing for his life when one of Kyaligonza’s guards drew a sword around his neck forcing him to run for his life.

He explains that in total fear, he run to the nearest Health facility and while there, he shared the assault video that went viral on social media networks .

They now want court to declare that Amb Kyaligonza’s actions including physical and verbal torture and threatening to injure the journalist amounted to an infringement of his rights and freedoms protected by the constitution.

The incident received a massive public criticism with members of Parliament asking President Museveni to recall Kyaligonja from Birundi while Women activists also demanded Maj.Gen.Kyaligonja’s resignation for allegedly assaulting a woman.

However, while reacting to the incident, President Museveni did criticize the incident but only advised the senior retired soldier to take his much energy to the battlefield in Somalia but did not recall him from Burundi.

The victim also revealed to the media how she was allegedly slapped by Kyaligonja and manhandled by his body guards as she tried to stop them from making a U turn in the middle of a road.

The army later came out and stated that it cannot charge Maj.Gen.Kyaligonja since he is not an active soldier following his retirement.

The Uganda Police later took charge of the assault file a d forwarded it to the Director of Public Prosecutions but he also returned back to police on grounds that he needed more witnesses to be able to sanction and forward the file to court so that the retires soldier can be prosecuted for his actions .

The retired UPDF officer is a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement party and also the vice chairperson for Western Region on top of being a member of the High Command of the Ugandan army.

He is also not new to violent behavior and it is alleged that in 1989 he was demoted for allegedly slapping the OCs Jinja road police station ASP Tumusiime.

Kitata denies being in possession of guns and being bodaboda 2010 leader

By Sania Babirye

The former leader of the defunct Boda -Boda 2010 group Abudallah Kitata has began his defense today before the general court martial sitting in Makindye.

Kitata swore through the Quran to give his sworn in evidence which will give the state a chance to cross examine him on his defense.

He has revealed before the seven member team chaired by Lt.Gen.Andrew that he will be producing three witnesses including his driver Ibrahim Sekajja and bodyguard Sowali Ngobi to prove his innocence .

However , these are all charged with Kitata.

Kitata and nine others are charged with unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition and Military attires before the General Court Martial at Makindye.

Prosecution led by Maj. Rapheal Mugisha led 4 evidence from 4 witnesses stating that a golden pistol loaded with live bullets was recovered on Kitatta during his arrest at Vine Tea Hotel in Wakaliga.

However Kitata through his lawyer Shaban Sanywa, Kitata has told court that for the 40 years he has lived on earth, he has never held a gun , live bullets or possessed any military uniforms.

Kitatta also told court that he came to know about the alleged golden pistol while it was being displayed in court by the state.

He however confessed before court that the pistol and an SMG riffle belonged to his body guard and co accused Sowali Ngobi whom he has listed as one of his witness to prove his innocence

Kitata who will be making one year on remand at Makindye military barracks has now advised the army court to instead ask Ngobi on how the alleged items reached in his car.

He has further revealed to court when asked on how he acquired the bodyguard, that that during the 2010 Buganda Kingdom riots , he reached out to his party’s national chairman President Museveni for his security concerns who in turn also delegated former police chief Gen Kale Kayihura to assign him (Kitata) a plain clothed police bodyguard .

Kitata has also denied being a leader or member of Boda -boda 2010 group clarifying that he is only in –charge of 2 offices; one being that of the NRM chairman of Lubaga division and another is that of National Union of Drivers and cyclists and Allied workers Association (NUDICAWA).

And as a result he has denied having any connection and knowledge of the Military uniforms and caps that the army says were recovered from the offices of Boda- boda 2010 at Nateete.

While starting his defense, Kitatta narrated to court how he was arrested from a Hotel rest room at Vine Tea Hotel in Wakaliga by CMI operatives .

He told court that on the 20th of January 2018 , he left his home in Najjanankumbi at about 10am and headed for Vine Tea Hotel to meet some people being an NRM leader .

That after the said meeting , he booked into one of the Hotel rooms from where he saw Army officers surrounding the entire Hotel and some knocking on his Hotel room door.

He has now urged Lt Gen Andrew Gutti to look at the footage caught on a CCTV camera at Vine Hotel before making his decision.

The case has further been adjourned to the 21st of January 2019.

Kayihura’s case further adjourned

By Sania Babirye

The former Inspector General of police Gen. Kale Kayihura has today reported before the General court martial office of the registry in fulfillment of one of his bail conditions. General Kaihura was granted bail in August 2018 but the army court chaired byLt. Gen Andrew Gutti ordered him to report before court every Monday of every new month for his bail revision and extension.

Despite his appearance, General Kayihura will have wait a little longer for his trial to commence since no date has yet been set for his case because prosecutions is still investigating.

Mention of his case has further been adjourned to the 4th of February 2019.

Kaihura however avoided the media and used a secret entrance and heading straight to the office of the chairman before being whisked off again in a Ministry of Defence vehicle with an escort car .

On the 24th of August, Gen.Kaihura was formerly arraigned and charged after spending 76 days in detention at Makindye military barracks.
He pleaded not guilty to three counts relating to failure to protect war materials and aiding/abetting kidnapping of Rwandan Refugees in Uganda.
He was however granted bail on the 28th of the same month and ordered to report back to court today.
Prosecution led by Maj Raphael Mugisha states that between the years 2010 and 2018, Gen Kayihura allowed the issue of arms and ammunition to Boda-Boda 2010 patron Abdullah Kitatta , a person unauthorized to own a firearm.

In the second account Kayihura is charged with failing to supervise and ensure accountability for arms and ammunition he issued to specialized units under the office of IGP including Flying squad unit, specialized operations unit, witness protection unit and the Crime Intelligence Directorate of the police .

The Gen.Kayihura was also charged with aiding and abetting his junior soldiers to kidnap 3 Rwandan exiles , refugees and Ugandan citizens to Rwanda. These are ; Lt. Joel Mutabaazi, Jackson Kaleemera and Sgt Innocent Kaliisa.

Lt.Gen.Andrew Gutti who chairs the army court however released Gen.Kayihura on bail with strict conditions including restricting his movements to only Kampala and Wakiso districts.

He presented three sureties including including the deputy commandant of Land forced Maj. General Samuel Kavuma, Maj. General James Mugira who is the managing director of National Enterprises and the Entebbe Municipality member of parliament and also his cousin Rosemary Tumusiime.

He was ordered to not fly out of the country without the permission of the army court and report before the court registra once every month or failure to do so have his bail reversed.

Gen. Gutti sworn in as head of Court martial

Lt.General Andrew Gutti has been sworn in today for another one year term as head of the General court martial .

The sworn in Ceremony has been presided over by new Judge advocate  col.Tukacungura Richard at the army court sitting  in Makindye.
Lt.Gen. Gutti  will embark on his new and last term after being recently re appointed by President Museveni to head the army court after his term in office expired in June this year.
Lt.Gutti was also sworn in along other 10 members  including  Col.Tukacungura who replaced Col. Gidion Katinda as the judge advocate, Major.Henry Serugo,Capt.Teopista Opal and Capt.Paul Mugerwa among others.
These vowed to be object, Impartial and discret in their line of duty.
After being sworn in,the group began doing their work ny hearing caes involving both civilians and soldiers after being on recess for one month which put all cases on hold.

Police officers accused of kidnap have been released on bail

By Sania Babirye
The General Court Martial at Makindye has released on bail  three [3] out of the seven[7] jailed  police officers battling kidnap charges.
A panel of seven members of  the Court Martial  chaired by Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti has released D/CPL Amon Kwarisima , SPC Faisal Katende and D/ASP James Magada  on grounds that the  junior ranking  officers  can neither interfere with  on-going CMI investigations nor threaten prosecution witnesses.
 The three officers have been released on a non cash bond of ten million shillings each while  their sureties  entered  non  cash bond  of 5 million shillings each.
 The bailed officers must also report to the registrar of the General court Martial twice  every  month and ordered not to  travel out of Kampala without permission from  court.
 Court warned that failure to abide by the above conditions will automatically lead to cancellation of bail.
The seven men are facing charges of kidnap of  three Rwandese nationals and unlawfully conveying  them to their country against their will.
Other suspects Joel Aguma,   Nixon Agasirwe ,  Benon Atwebembeirwe and Abel Tumukunde  have been remanded back to Luzira prison and Makindye military police barracks respectively until the 5th/February/2028  as CMI continues with investigations.

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.

Sam Mugumya and six other face court Martial in DRC today

Plans are underway to arraign seven Ugandans currently detained in a prison in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) before the General Court Martial, Security Minister Lt General Henry Tumukunde says.

Among them is Sam Mugumya, a member of the opposition Forum for Democratic Chang- FDC party whom Government says was engaged in subversive activities in Eastern DRC. He was allegedly arrested in possession of sensitive security documents.

The others Aggrey Kamukama, Steven Mugisha, Nathan Bright and Joseph Kamugisha, who have been detained in Eastern DRC since 2014. They are among several Ugandans who are reportedly accused of  conducting a rebellion in the DRC territory.
While Lt General Tumukunde, did not give details on when and where they will be charged from, he told Parliament on Thursday evening that government is awaiting communication from DRC on the process and will provide legal services to them.

The Minister made a statement in response to concerns raised by opposition MPs last week calling for the release of Ugandans detained in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is estimated that over 300 Ugandans are languishing in different prisons within the DRC. Majority are being held on ground of involvement in rebel activities.  Many of them have been linked to the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF, a rebel group that has been fighting the Ugandan government for years.
However, Tumukunde’s statement was met with dissatisfaction from Shadow Minister of Justice Medard Seggona, who questioned why the Ugandan government had not engaged the DRC administration for details on when Ugandan nationals will be formally charged.

Ndorwa East MP, Wilfred Niwagaba who doubles as Shadow Attorney General added that last week, two Ugandan intelligence officers were also arrested in DR Congo but were later released following intervention from government. He questioned why government could not do the same for other nationals.

In response, Tumukunde asked for more time to consult with government and make a comprehensive response on the matter.

-URN