National
MP calls for reforms in military court martial
Publish Date: Jul 15, 2014
MP calls for reforms in military court martial
PRA suspecets leaving the Military Court Martial in Makindye Kampala
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Umaru Kashaka

The shadow minister for defence Hassan Fungaroo has said the military Court Martial should be reformed in order to conform to Uganda’s system for the administration of justice.


Addressing a press conference at Parliament, the Obongi County MP noted that currently the Court Martial “is faulty and works as if it is the headquarters of injustice in the country”.

“It is improper for civilians accused of treason or treason related offences to be tried in the military Court Martial under section 119 of the UPDF Act 2005, because, civilians are civilians,” he argued.

He stated that the institutional, legal and policy framework of the Court is not well known to civilians and soldiers.

“We want to know who qualifies and what qualifies a suspect for trial in a military court—is it his or her membership in a military institution or the type of crime they have been accused of,” he said.

Obongi also argued that the military court can convict and sentence a person to death, and yet due to its composition, staffing, resources and the military traditions of secrecy in the conduct of its business, the court does not have sufficient capacity for protection of human rights.

“As provided under Article 22 of the Constitution, no person shall be deprived of life intentionally except in execution of a sentence passed in a fair trial but a competent court in a competent jurisdiction in respect of a criminal offence under the laws of Uganda and the convictions and sentence have been confirmed by the highest appellate court,” he said.

He further claimed that under article 120 (3), the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has no control over decisions of the Court Martial and therefore without the DPP there can’t be a fair trial in the Court Martial.

Responding to the allegations, the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) deputy spokesman, Maj Henry Obbo, said the army is only implementing what parliament passed.

“If the MP is calling for reforms, it should be Parliament to do that. But why do they want to politicize security matters by speaking now?” he asked.

He stated that the army is interested in those who were arrested or captured in possession of firearms, those who attacked the military with firearms and those who used firearms to kill armed forces because that is what the law says.

“Section 119 of the 2005 UPDF Act says that a civilian can be tried in a Court Marital if found in illegal possession of arms, ammunition or any other stores that are ordinarily a monopoly of armed forces or if a civilian abets a member of defence forces to commit a service offence,” Obbo told New Vision.

Meanwhile, Obbo said suspects (about 170) who attacked Rwenzori region on July 5 will be screened tomorrow to isolate those to be court-martialled while others will be prosecuted in regular courts.

RELATED ARTICLES

Brig. Tolit sworn in as new Court Martial chairman

Museveni raps ruling on Court Martial

Court Martial demotes UPDF officers

More than 80 people, majority civilians, were either shot dead or hacked to death on July 5 when a group of youth the government said were tribal militiamen staged simultaneous attacks in Bundibugyo, Kasese and Ntoroko districts in western Uganda.
 

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
Big strides made in fighting TB, says WHO
The known tally of people with tuberculosis rose last year but overall "major progress" is being made in rolling back the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday....
Minister Chebrot hospitalized in China
Dr. Steven Chebrot, the state minister for transport has been hospitalized in a Chinese hospital....
Drug-resistant TB at crisis levels, warns WHO
Multi drug-resistant tuberculosis remains at crisis levels, with about 480,000 new cases this year, and various forms of the lung disease killed about 1.5 million people in 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday....
Terror suspects linked to Al Shabaab further remanded
Police are yet to conclude investigations in a case involving 10 terror suspects linked to Al Shabaab arrested last month from Kisenyi in Kampala....
Rwanda backtracks on special Ebola screening of travellers from US and Spain
Rwanda will no longer have special Ebola-screening measures imposed on travelers arriving from the United States and Spain...
7 Makerere students detained over demo
At least seven students who were arrested during the Monday Makerere University demostration against an attempted graduation fees increment face charges....
Was Oscar Pistorius' 5 year sentence fair and just?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter