The General Court Martial at Makindye has sentenced Hajji Abudallah Kitatta and his body guard Detective Constable Sowali Ngobi to serve 8years, 8 months and 6 days at Luzira prison on charges of being in illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
While sentencing the two, the court’s chairman Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti ruled that Kitata and Ngobi deserved to serve a maximum sentence of ten years but deduct the one and half months period that they have each spent on remand at Luzira .
The army court has also took into consideration the fact that Kitatta and Ngobi are first offenders who have no known criminal record and that there is no proof that the said guns they were convicted of were ever uses to commit a crime.
However the Court noted that Kitatta and Ngobi were convicted of a rampant and prevalence offense of possessing illegal guns and ammunition which has caused a lot of Mayhem in society and that such a punishment would serve as a deterrent sentence.
The army court has also told them to appeal within 14days the sentence and conviction if they are dissatisfied.
On Monday, the seven army court led by Lt.Gen.Andrew Gutti found Kitata and Ngobi guilty of unlawful possession of firearms without a valid license on Monday .
The army court relied on evidence produced by four state witnesses and a yellow gold pistol, an SMG riffle, army uniforms and live bullets that were recovered at their association offices and in a room at vine hotel in Wakaliga were Kitata was arrested from .
However the army court acquitted eight of Kitatta’s co-accused who have been facing only one count of unlawful possession of Military uniforms and caps saying prosecution adduced no adequate evidence to warrant. conviction.
They include Ssenfuka Matia, Kibirige Joel, Twinomujuni Amon,Sebata Hassan,Sebandeke John,Mugema Hussein,Bwanika Fred,and Sekajja Ibrahim.
These had been on remand for one year and four months at Luzira prison .
The same court also dismissed against Kitata charges of unlawful possession of Military attires and and a Pistol that the Uganda Police lawfully issued to his body Guard Sowali Ngobi to discharge his professional duties .
Ngobi’s conviction falls a testimony by the jailed former police special investigations commandant Nixon Agasirwe who testified that he did order for the issuance of the said golden Pistol to Ngobi but not an SMG riffle.
Meanwhile the state asked the army court to hand Kitata and his co convict a maximum sentence .
Major Raphael Mugisha who is the State prosecutor said the sentence will serve as a deterrent to would be offenders since such offenses are on the rise in the country.
However, Kitata’s lawyer Shaban Sanya asked court to hand them a non custodial sentence since they have families with school going children, with Kitata having more than one wife and the sole bread winner
Sanya also said that Kitata was sick with diabetes and that he has been working for the government including being the chairman of NRM in Rubaga division.
He further said that they have been on remand for one year and four months and are now reformed and that the guns they have been found of unlawfully possessing have never been used in any criminal way and that all the accused have been obedient through out trial.
Sanya further said that the alleged guns were also issued to them by those in charge of them, asking court to take that in account and be lenient to them.