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Kitatta's appeal case for Friday

By Micheal Odeng and Douglas Mubiru

Added 4th August 2020 07:13 PM

Kitatta's appeal case for Friday

Kitatta

The army court will on Friday hear an appeal in which jailed former Boda Boda 2010 group leader Abdullah Kitatta is challenging his conviction and 8-year jail term.

On May 14, last year, Kitatta and his bodyguard, Sowali Ngobi, were jailed after the General Court Martial (GCM) found them guilty of possessing firearms and ammunition illegally.

The duo, who have spent a year and three months in jail, are expected to appear before the Court Martial Appeal Court (CMAC) chairman, Elly Turyamubona. Lawyer Isaac Julubo will represent Kitatta.

In his appeal, Kitatta contends that GCM erred in law and fact when it irregularly convicted him in respect of firearms by relying on weak prosecution evidence, thereby occasioning an injustice.

"GCM convicted me relying on the prosecution evidence, which was in violation of the established rules of evidence," he argues.

Kitatta submits that GCM irregularly and without justifiable cause violated the established rules of evidence when it shifted the burden of proof from prosecution to the convicts.

He contends that GCM refused and ignored to discharge its duty to summon material witnesses, who were deemed necessary to substantiate the evidence tendered against him and his bodyguard.

Kitatta has; therefore, requested court to set aside GCM's ruling and acquit him of the crime. In the alternative, he requests court to reduce the sentence if it finds him guilty.

Judgement

Last year, GCM chairman Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti convicted Kitatta and Ngobi basing on the evidence of four prosecution witnesses.

The prosecution witnesses, who included Pte Richard Kasaija, Cpl Richard Wanyama, Maj. David Agaba and Cpl Alex Baguma, all testified that they arrested Kitatta from Vine Tea hotel in Wakaliga with a gold-coated pistol, SMG rifle and 55 rounds of ammunition on January 20, 2018.

According to prosecution, Kitatta did not have a valid firearms certificate, authorising him to be in possession of a pistol.

Who is Kitatta?

Kitatta started out as a boda boda rider in Kasangati and in 2010, he was appointed the patron of Boda Boda 2010.

In 2015, he was appointed the National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairman for Rubaga division. He is also the leader of National Union of Drivers, Cyclists and Allied Workers.

On January 21, 2018, he was arrested over the murder of Case Clinic accountant Francis Ekalungar, but the charges were later dropped and he was charged with unlawful possession of firearms and ammunitions at the army court.

On May 6 the same year, Kitatta filed a case at the Criminal Division of the High Court to block his trial at the army court, but his application was dismissed.

On September 13, he applied for bail but his application was unsuccessful.

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