The National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has welcomed the majority decision in the Constitutional Court ruling that declared that it is wrong for the General Court Martial to try civilians.
In 2016, the then Nakawa Municipality MP Michael Kabaziguruka who was facing treason charges in the army court petitioned the Constitutional Court, seeking it to declare the General Court Martial and other military courts unconstitutionally established and therefore unfit to try civilians
In a majority 3:1 judgment this week, the Constitutional Court ruled that the General Court Martial was set up to discipline UPDF soldiers and that trying civilians is wrong.
In a statement, Kyagulanyi said to date, many of their supporters and friends are stuck in different prisons across the country, having been remanded by the General Court Martial, Division Court Martials as well as Unit Disciplinary Committees of the military.
“It will be recalled that a few weeks back, the legal team of NUP filed a further constitutional petition, challenging the trial of hundreds of our civilian comrades before different military courts,” he said.
He claimed that for a long time, Museveni’s regime has used military courts as a tool of extreme repression.
He said Museveni prefers to use these courts which are under his full command and control claiming that members of that court are just the face of the impunity that goes on in the court but have no real power over what happens there.
“Those who were abducted by the military in the run up to, and in the aftermath of the January election, were subjected to some kangaroo military courts inside CMI. In most cases, they would be forced to put on People Power berets while their pictures were being taken, and then tried by the same people before they were remanded to Kitalya and other prisons,” he noted.
“Therefore, the decision handed down by the Constitutional Court is a welcome development. Yes, it has come very late, close to six years from the time the case was filed, but as they say, better late than never. This is definitely a very progressive judgment, and we hope the regime will not seek to stand in the way of justice by challenging it in the Supreme Court so as to buy time as they continue to carry out gross acts of impunity,” he stated.