National
Col. Bantariza protests as witness 'vanishes'Publish Date: May 24, 2014
Col. Bantariza protests as witness 'vanishes'
  • mail
  • img
Col. Shaban Bantariza is facing three counts of fraud, tampering with documents and attempted fraud. FILE PHOTO/Peter Busomoke
newvision

By David Lumu

KAMPALA - Stung by what he calls a deliberate delay of justice by the General Court Martial, Col. Shaban Bantariza says he has lost hope and therefore willing to "die in jail."

"I could die in jail if they so wish," he furiously said at the steps of the court martial shortly after Brigadier Moses Diba Ssentongo, the chairman of the court, adjourned the case until May 20.

Bantariza, who was irked by the absence of state witnesses, is facing three counts of fraud, tampering with documents and attempted fraud.

He said: “I have seen it all and I am ready for anything. When I went to the bush [1981-86 Luwero struggle] I didn't expect to come back alive. Many people died there, including the brother of my wife."

On Friday, the prosecution team led by Captain Fredrick Kangwamu told the Makindye-based military court that the witness he had summoned could not be traced and that he had switched off his phone.

He did not mention the witness’s name though.

"I informed the witness to come to court. But we have lost contact. We cannot trace him right now. His station is at Kimaka Senior Command Staff College Jinja. We told the authorities there to release him, but we have since lost contact. His phones are off,” he said.


Col. Shaban Bantariza sits in the dock at the army court on February 19, 2014


Bantariza takes time to read a New Vision newspaper before his case on July 23, 2013. PHOTO/Kennedy Oryema


Here, he chats with Lt.Col. John Kaye at their meeting at Makindye Court Martial for their cases on March 11, 2014. PHOTO/Peter Busomoke

To locate the missing witness, Kangwamu asked for a two-week adjournment, something that Bantariza's lawyer Frank Kanduho protested.

"We are opposed to the adjournment. The State is changing goal posts in order to keep the accused in court forever," he charged.

Before Kangwamu could respond, Ssentongo also faulted him: "You should have brought many witnesses today."

On the defensive, Kangwamu responded that it is “not our intention to keep Col. Bantariza in the dock forever. We have many cases to handle and it has become nasty for us to mobilize witnesses".

Bantariza is out on bail.

He was arrested on Monday July 1, 2013 from his home in Bweyogerere, Wakiso district.

Prosecution alleges that on February 3, 2011 at Akamba Uganda Ltd, Plot 12 Old Port Bell Road in Kampala district, Bantariza, the then-director of National Leadership Institute Kyankwanzi (NALI), received a tractor with a registration number UAN 652Z and its accessories donated to NALI by the ministry of finance. He also diverted 500 litres of fuel.

However, he claims that he purchased the said tractor at sh67m and put it to official use.


Also related to this story

Bantariza case: State given an hour to produce witness

Witness: Col. Bantariza diverted sh500m

Two witnesses pin Bantariza on fraud

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
In pictures: Kipsiro takes Gold by 0.03 secs
It has been a glamorous Friday night as Team Uganda scooped a total of four medals; Moses Kipsiro successfully defended his Commonwealth Gold medal for the 10000m while runner Winnie Nanyondo; Light and heavy weight boxers Fazil Juma Kaggwa and Mike Sekabembe respectively scooped bronze medals....
Wife murderer to remain in jail for life
The Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal for leniency by a 74-year-old man who killed his wife for denying him sex....
Ex-Cranes manager Mubiru sex clips played in court
A series of video clips featuring former Uganda Cranes manager Chris Mubiru having sex with young boys and girls were shown in court on Thursday....
Obama welcomes Africa to Washington
President Barack Obama, the first black American president, will at last hold a summit next week for Africa''s leaders....
Agric ministry needs sh785b for seeds
PROVISION of seeds and other planting and breeding materials to farmers as envisaged by government will be hampered if government does not provide Sh785b to the Ministry of Agriculture...
MPs block sh9bn banana project budget
MPs on the Parliament’s committee on finance have declined to approve sh9bn meant for the operations of the Presidential initiative on banana industrial development...
Is Uganda prepared to effectively tackle an Ebola Outbreak?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter