Breaking

Kitatta's Co-accused Distance Themselves from Boda Boda 2010

Top story
John Ssebandeke was the first to take the stand. According to Ssebandeke, he was riding on a Boda boda from Entebbe to Kampala the day they were picked up.
Kitatta and his Co Accused. File Photo
 The suspects jointly charged with Abdullah Kitatta, the patron of Boda Boda 2010 Association have distanced them from the military uniforms purportedly recovered from their offices. The suspects are Amon Twinomujuni, John Sebandeke, Fred Bwanika, Hassan Ssebatta, Matia Senfuka and Hussein Mugema. 

They appeared on Tuesday before the General Court martial to defend themselves against accusations of illegal possession of firearms and military stores. Prosecution contends that the suspects were found were found in possession of military uniforms and caps at the Boda Boda 2010 offices in Nateete, Kampala city suburb. 

However, the suspects who took the stand one after another said they were picked up from the Parking Yard of Nateete Market and not the Boda Boda 2010 Offices. They also denied that they are members of Boda Boda 2010 Association. John Ssebandeke was the first to take the stand. According to Ssebandeke, he was riding on a Boda boda from Entebbe to Kampala the day they were picked up.

He however, said that they found confusion when they reached Wakaliga, which led to his arrest. Ssebandeke also told court that he has never been in possession of any military fatigue despite being trained as a Crime Preventer ahead of the 2016 General elections. Another suspect, Hassan Sebatta told court that he was arrested by a UPDF soldier he only as Wasajja as he was going to park his bicycle. 

Sebatta says that he knew Wassajja very because they used to rent on the same premises in Busega. He also said the arresting soldiers led by Wassajja took Shillings 14,000 from him, his parking receipt and Nokia Phone before taking whisking him away to unknown detention where he spent four days with a facial mask. 

The third suspect, Hussein Mugema, saidhe was arrested from Natete Parking yard and his Bajaj motorcycle number UDU 173Z that he had left under the care of a minor as he went to pick his friend's vehicle disappeared without any trace. He said the officers also took his wedding ring. Asked by the State Prosecutor Lt Col. Raphael Mugisha where he wedded from, Mugema said he couldn't remember but it some born again church near Bata Bata along Entebbe Road. 

He told court that he converted to Christianity in 2000 but couldn't remember the day when he wedded because of the stress he has been experiencing in jail. Mugema's co accusedkept giggling as he testified on oath before court. He also sent his co-accused into prolonged laughter when he said that he was once a chairman of Boda Boda motorists when he was riding a bicycle.

The Judge Advocate Col. Richard Tucancugurwa asked him how it was possible; Mugema said he became the chairperson because he wanted to borrow money from the Boda Boda 2010 SACCO.  He however, denied that he was a member of the association. Matia Senfuka admitted being a member ofBoda Boda Boda 2010 but said that he was arrested from the parking yard too. 

He said the officers took his official identification card, Automatic Teller Machine Card and Shillings 170,400. Asked by prosecution how he knows, Joel Kibirige who is accused number two in the case, Senfuka said that he knows Kibirige as the NRM Mobiliser and Director Boda Boda 2010. 

This contradicted Kibirige's earlier defense where he distanced himself from the Association. Kibirige told court that he is the Chairperson of Boda Boda riders in Rubaga Division. Amon Twinomujuni, who was the last to testify told court that he was also arrested from Nateete Market Parking yard. He also said that the officers took Shillings 1.2 million from him, his mobile phone, clothes of his children and identity cards including one that shows that he is a councilor in Boda Boda 2010.

The suspect, who testified in Runyankole, said none of his family or relatives is connected to armed forces.  The suspect's lawyer,

Shaban Sanywa asked Court to adjourn the matter, saying that they need to bring three more witnesses who could confirm to court how Kitatta obtained the guns in question. 

 

As a result, the General Court Martial chairman, Lt General Gutti directed the Court Registrar Major John Bizimana to issue witness summons to Inspector of Police, Kenneth Okello and Senior Superintendent of Police, Nickson Agasirwe to testify in the matter on March 18th, 2019. 

 

Sanywa also asked court to summon the Manager of Vine Hotel Wakaliga where Kitatta was picked up from, a request that was rejected. Lt General Gutti asked him to use his own means to bring the manager whose name he had forgotten to court. The suspects are jointly charged with Ibrahim Sekajja, Sowali Ngobi and Joel Kibirige who have already defended themselves.