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

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.


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

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
FOOD, cultural diversity, music, partying, business, happy people is what Kampala welcomes as the fourth Kampala City Carnival gets underway...
Measles vaccination kicks off
MEASLES vaccination has kicked off well with officials commending the masses for the high turn up...
Kampala on alert as police deploy heavily
Police deploy massively in various spots in Kampala amid reports of a "criminal-minded group" planning chaos....
Commonwealth lauds Speaker Kadaga
This is for her role in ensuring women MPs across the Commonwealth undertake activities that empower women in general....
UPC asks govt to respond to hunger in Karamoja
THE Uganda People''s Congress faction led by MP Jimmy Akena, has called on Government to respond urgently to famine and hunger in Karamoja...
IGAD gets equipment to monitor water resources
REGIONAL countries under Inter Governmental Authority on Development have acquired equipment to respond to the perennial problem of drought to reduce on the impact of climate change...
Should sachet waragi be banned?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter