Kitatta and friends charged afresh with unlawful possession of arms

The General Court Martial in Makindye has charged Boda boda patron Abdallah Kitatta and 10 others with a number of offences related to unlawful possession of military hardware.

Others charged together with Kitatta are;Matia Ssenfuka, Joel Kibirige, Hassan Ssemata, Jonathan Kayondo, Ssengooba Hassan, Sande Ssemwogerere, John Ssebandeke, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika and Amon Twinomujuni.

The group were on January 20 arrested by the army in a joint operation with JATT in various parts of the city.

On Tuesday, the Makindye based army court chaired by Lt.Gen. Andrew Guti read to them charges.

“Abdallah Kitatta, Sowali Ngobi and Ibrahim Ssekajja were found in unlawful possession of a fire arms contrary to Section 3 and section 2 of the fire arms act,”Lt.Gen.Guti read the charges.

According to prosecution, the three people were in January arrested at Wakaliga in Rubaga division and found in  possession of an SMG rifle and a pistol  without a valid fire arm certificate.

The group  were also charged with unlawful possession of 30 and 20  rounds of ammunition for SMG rifles  and pistol respectively which are  government stores contrary to section 161 of the UPDF Act.

They were also charged with unlawful possession of military equipment including headgear and uniforms which are a monopoly of the defence forces.

The offences against the group are  criminal in nature and  attract a maximum sentences of death and  life imprisonment respectively.  They  told court they would follow proceedings in Luganda.

Eight of the suspects said they would use their private lawyers whereas the rest opted to use the lawyer provided for by the state, Lt.Brian Moogi.

During plea taking, they all denied the charges.

Plea taking is when the accused denies or accepts the charges labeled against them.
However, two suspects Sowali Ngobi and Ibrahim Ssekajja were not in court on Tuesday.

On charging the group which consists of civilians, the army court quoted section 119 of the UPDF Act 2005 which explains the kinds  of  people who are subject to military law.

The section provides that every person found in unlawful possession of arms, ammunition or equipment ordinarily being monopoly of the defence forces becomes subject to military law.

During the court session, Boda boda 2010 patron Abdalla Kitatta kept on citing the prayer.

The group were arrested following the earlier apprehension of his brother Huzairu Kiwalabye over alleged involvement in the murder of Case Hospital accountant Francis Ekalungar who was kidnapped on his way to bank Shs15 million but his body was discovered a few days later in Kajjansi burnt beyond recognition.
They have been remanded to Luzira government prison until February 27.