Lt. Gen. Guti ‘expels’ Kitatta’s lawyers from army court over foolery

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

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Lt.Gen.Andrew Guti, the chairman of the General Court Martial in Makindye on Tuesday lost his cool and ordered lawyers representing boda boda 2010 patron Abdalla Kitatta and his co-accused out of court over what he termed as foolery.

Before the case proceeded for cross examination, the lawyers led by Shaban Sanywa and Jimmy Muyanja complained that they had not been allowed time to interact with their clients prompting the court to allow them more time to speak to the accused.

When the court resumed, the accused were first taken through a process in which they were asked whether they had any objection to the new members of the court but this process did not go on well.

When asked, Kitatta said he could only talk through his lawyer prompting Sanywa to ask court for furnish them with the names of the members of the court’s panel before they could proceed.

“It would be better if we were given names and also given time to investigate about them. These are new faces and maybe we can proceed with the case in the next hearing,”Sanywa said.

In response, the army prosecutor Maj.Raphael Mugisha said the fact that Kitatta didn’t know any of the new members automatically meant he had no issues with them.

When asked to proceed, Kitatta referred the court to his lawyer, who in turn insisted that his client could not answer the questions being asked by the court in regards to the new members.

Lt.Gen.Guti fumes

At this time, the court chairman fumed, accusing Kitatta’s lawyers of foolery before expelling them from his court.

“This foolery of the court should not be tolerated. Get out of this court and sort yourselves,  ”the visibly angry Lt.Gen. Guti ordered.

The visibly terrified accused in the dock including Kitata were seen exiting the dock back to the detention room but the chairman ordered them not to move even an inch.

“Don’t get out of the dock. I am talking to these confused fellows of yours,”Gen.Guti said.

He said that he had been lenient enough to allow the lawyers time to speak to their clients but said they had taken him for granted.

The angry court chairman would later cool down and asked the lawyers never to take his court for granted as they had done before.

“I know you read books but you must be disciplined. Let me now accommodate you but must keep discipline,” he said.

Later, the case proceeded with cross examination of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence  operative  the first witness in the case who had participated in the arrest of the accused.

Lt. Gen.Andrew Guti adjourned the case to August 7 for further cross examination by the defence lawyers.

Kitatta is accused together with 10 other Boda boda 2010 members including; Matia Ssenfuka, Joel Kibirige, Hassan Ssemata, Jonathan Kayondo, Ssengooba Hassan, Sande Ssemwogerere, John Ssebandeke, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika and Amon Twinomujuni with a number of offences related to unlawful possession of military hardware and unlawful possession of a gun, pistol and ammunition.

They are accused of unlawful possession of 30 and 20 rounds of ammunition for SMG rifles and pistol respectively which are government stores contrary to section 161 of the UPDF Act.

The army also accuses the group of unlawful possession of military equipment including headgear and uniforms which are a monopoly of the defence forces.

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