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Drama As Kitatta's Trial Resumes in General Court Martial

Kitatta is charged together with ten others for unlawful possession of firearms and Military equipment contrary to section 161 of the UPDF Act.
Kitatta's lawyer, Shaban Sanywa
The trial of Boda Boda patron Abdullah Kitatta and his co-accused resumed today at the General Court Martial in Kampala amidst exchange of words between his lawyers and members of the court.

Kitatta is charged together with ten others for unlawful possession of firearms and Military equipment contrary to section 161 of the UPDF Act.

The other suspects are Matia Ssenfuka, Joel Kibirige, Hassan Ssemata, Jonathan Kayondo, Ssengooba Hassan, Sande Ssemwogerere, John Ssebandeke, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika and Amon Twinomujuni. 

Before the start of the hearing, Kitatta was asked whether he feels comfortable to be tried by the new members of the court.

In his response, Kitatta said that his brain is no longer working properly adding that the question is better answered by his lawyer Shaban Sanywa.

However, the court told Kitatta that the question can only be answered by him and not the lawyers.  He, however, insisted that his brain isn't working properly.

Sanywa asked court to adjourn the matter and be availed the names of the new members of the panel and he investigates them before they can try Kitatta and the co-accused. 

However this sparked anger from the court chairperson Lt General Andrew Gutti. He ordered Sanywa to get out of the court on grounds that he was acting in an inappropriate manner. 

"Rubbish.  Get out! Move out of Court.  This kind of foolery is not allowed. I gave you an hour to interact with your clients but hear what you are saying", said Gutti while ordering Sanywa out of Court.

But before Sanywa could get out of court, the suspects had also started moving away despite the fact that court hadn't been adjourned.

As they attempted to move out of the Dock, Gutti advised them to stay and he reversed his order.

"I know you have read books but discipline matters. Don't go!  I'm just wondering the discipline of your lawyers", added Gutti.

Col Richard Tukacungurwa, the judge advocate read out the names of members of the court.

However, the suspects said that they were ready to proceed with the trial because the only person they know on the panel was Lt Gen Gutti.

Later court resumed in the afternoon with the cross-examination of Pte Richard Kasaija who arrested Kitatta from Vine Hotel Wakaliga.

During cross-examination, Sanywa asked Kasaija to explain how many people he arrested on 20th January 2018. In his response, Kasaija said that he had arrested three but he couldn't remember the rest of the suspects.

This angered Sanywa, saying that it is demeaning of a person entitled to keep security of the country not to recall the people he arrested six months ago.

Sanywa later asked court to give him an order to present the video footage to show that Kitatta was not arrested with a golden pistol, but Lt. Gen Gutti said that the footage isn't necessary at this stage of the trial.

Meanwhile, the lawyers of the suspects have also complained that they have been denied access to them.

They say that they attempted to visit him but were denied access at Makindye Military barracks where they are being held.

The Court was later adjourned to August 7th for further cross-examination of Kasaija.

Hearing of the case had been halted after the term of the members of the court expired. Last month, members of the court were sworn in and will serve for a one year term.

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