Kampala. A sombre mood hang over the army court in Makindye, a Kampala suburb, yesterday as the patron of the Boda Boda 2010 Association, Mr Abdullah Kitatta, was remanded again to military prison on charges of unlawful possession of firearms.
The General Court Martial remanded Kitatta after he accepted to plead to the charges. There was heavy deployment of armed military police at the court premises.
Mr Kitatta was remanded two weeks ago after his lawyers advised him to not plead to the charges of unlawful possession of firearms, bullets and military uniforms. The lawyer said the military court lacks jurisdiction to try him.
However, yesterday Mr Kitatta accepted to take plea and denied the charges. He was subsequently remanded.
The mood in the packed courtroom turned sombre when Mr Kitatta, a once feared man, broke down and tears started flowing freely down his face. His relatives and sympathisers too shed tears as they moved out of court.
Mr Kitatta is jointly charged with 13 others. They are: Mr John Ssebandeke, a crime preventer in Nabweru in Wakiso District, and members of Boda Boda 2010 Association; Joel Kibirige, Matia Ssenfuka, Hassan Ssebata, Jonathan Kayondo and Hassan Ssengoba.
Others are Sunday Ssemogerere, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika, Amon Twinomujuni, Sowali Ngoobi and Ibrahim Sekajja.
Mr Kitatta and his co-accused were yesterday expected to challenge the jurisdiction of the army court to try them but when they appeared, their lawyers led by Mr Shaban Sanya submitted that the suspects were ready to take plea.
They individually denied the charges.
“I remand all of you to Luzira government prison apart from Kitatta who is remanded to Makindye Military Barracks (prison),” the court chairman, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti, ruled. They were remanded until March 19.
The army prosecutor, Maj Raphael Mugisha, asked court for more time to complete the investigations.
“Investigations are in advanced stages and we pray for an adjournment with a view of fixing a hearing date,” Maj Mugisha said.
The same court also sent eight of the nine suspects, among them six senior police officers, to Makindye Military Prison pending conclusion of investigations into the case of kidnapping former bodyguard to Rwandan President Paul Kagame in 2013.
Gen Gutti, without giving reasons, also cancelled the bail which had been granted to three policemen SPC Faisal Katende of Police Flying Squad, ASP James Magada and D/Cpl Amon Kwarisiima of Crime Intelligence.
Remanded to army prison
Others remanded to Makindye Military Prison are SSP Nixon Agasirwe Karuhanga, former commandant of Police Professional Standards Unit Joel Aguma, Assistant Inspector of Police (AIP) Benon Atwebembeire, Sgt Abel Tumukunde, formerly attached to Police Flying Squad and Rwandan national Rene Rutagungira.
The army court remanded Congolese national Bahati Mugenga Pacifique, alias Illunga Monga, to Luzira prison.
They had appeared before court to take plea on a new charge of unlawful possession of firearms and military uniforms.