The Bodaboda 2010 patron and a dozen others appear at the General Court Martial, where they refuse to take plea on charges of unlawful possession of firearms.
Kitatta (yellow top) and co-accused in the army court dock on Tuesday. (Credit: Meddie Musisi)
KAMPALA - Bodaboda 2010 patron Abdallah Kitatta and his co-acussed were Tuesday remaded to Luzira Prison until February 27, after refusing to take plea on charges of unlawful possession of firearms.
Kitatta and 12 others accused had spent a month at Kigo Prison.
They told army court chairman Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti they are not soldiers to be tried at the General Court Martial.
Wearing a yellow shirt, Kitatta said: "I am not a military officer. I am an ordinary person and I object being tried or heard in this court."
In response, Gutti told the accused to consult their lawyer on "how any person found with military equipment is tried".
"Your lawyer should give you a clear understanding of these charges," he told Kitatta and co.
The other accused persons are Sowali Ngobi, Amon Twinomujuni, Joel Kibirige, Matia Ssenfuka, Hassan Sebatta, Johnson Kayondo, Hassan Sengooba, Sunday Ssemwogerere, John Ssebandeke, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika and Ibrahim Ssekajja.
The accused are battling charges of failure to protect war material and unlawful possession of military hardware. Upon conviction, the offences attract a maximum sentence of death and life imprisonment, respectively.
The military equipment in question include two pistols and 30 rounds of ammunition for a submachine gun.
Meanwhile, the army court dropped charges of failure to protect war material against the accused.
Prosecution alleges that the accused on January 21, 2018, while at Vine Hotel, located at Wakaliga, in a motor vehicle Reg No. UAK 135 B, were found in possession of a SMG gun, pistol without holding a valid firearms certificate.
According to prosecution, the said ammunition are ordinarily a monopoly of the defence forces.
The accused were represented by Joseph Kiryowa and Lt. Brian Mogi while the state was represented by Maj. Raphael Mugisha.
Gutti said: "Kitatta and all your colleagues are remanded to Luzira Prison until February 27." He then ajourned the court session until then.
Last week, the Military Unit Disciplinary Committee, sitting at the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) headquarters in Mbuya chaired by Col. Tom Kabuye, referred the matter to the GCM over lack of jurisdiction.
According to Kabuye, the unit has no powers to try the accused, who are currently battling capital offences.
The transfer of the case was prompted by the CMI headquarters prosecutor, Emmanuel Arihaihi, who informed court that investigations were incomplete and requested the matter be referred to the army court.
The arrest of Kittata followed a crackdown on suspects linked to the murder of Francis Ekalungar, an acountant of Case Hospital in Kampala. Most of the suspects are Bodaboda 2010 members.
Ekalungar was kidnapped on January 2 this year by unknown assailants on his way to Dfcu Bank to deposit over sh15m belonging to the hospital. A day later, his burnt body was found at Kajjansi, off Entebbe Road.