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Kabaziguruka challenges constitutionality of Army Court

By Michael Odeng

Added 23rd August 2016 04:39 PM

He argues that the courts of judicature are spelled out clearly by the laws of the land

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Michael Kabaziguruka arrives at the Court Martial in Makindye.

He argues that the courts of judicature are spelled out clearly by the laws of the land

Nakawa MP Michael Kabaziguruka has challenged the constitutionality of the Army Court and asked its members including Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti to disqualify themselves from hearing the case.

abaziguruka in the dock at the eneral ourt artial hoto by eter usomoke Kabaziguruka in the dock at the General Court Martial. Photo by Peter Busomoke

 

Appearing before the General Court Martial (GCM) in Makindye on Tuesday, Kabaziguruka argued that the Constitution did not give Parliament powers to create a court under the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) Act, adding that the constitution only tasked Parliament to make laws regulating UPDF officers.

"Parliament was only given mandate to regulate discipline of service men. Therefore creation of courts under the UPDF Act is unconstitutional," he submitted.

He added that courts of judicature were spelled out clearly from Supreme, High Court circuits and other subordinate courts according to the law.

In addition, he asked the court’s chairman Lt. Gen. Gutti to invoke section 204 of the UPDF Act, saying the offences they were charged with were politically motivated.

abaziguruka chats with defense counsel aj sha atra hoto by eter usomoke Kabaziguruka chats with defense counsel, Maj. Asha Patra. Photo by Peter Busomoke

 

Section 204 states that nothing in this act shall affect the jurisdiction of any civilian court to try a person for an offence triable by the court.   

"It is said that we infiltrated the UPDF with an intention of overthrowing the government of President Yoweri Museveni but in this case the complainant is UPDF. We are also prosecuted by UPDF and tried by it. I do not think whether any of us can get a fair hearing in this incompetent court," he argued. 

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