Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | The patron of Boda boda 2010 association also Rubaga NRM Chairman Abdalla Kitata could face the death penalty if he is found guilty in a Uganda court-martial.
Kitata and his co-accused who are mostly members of the infamous vigilante-cum-militia outfit, Boda Boda 2010 face five charges, which include four counts of failure to protect war material contrary to Section 122 (1) and (2) (h) and (I) of the UPDF Act, 2005.
They also face charges of being in possession of military stores contrary to Section 161 of the UPDF Act.
The court-martial is authorized to consider capital punishment, according to a military statement released Wednesday by the deputy army spokesperson Lt.Col Deo Akiiki.
The failure to protect war materials attracts a maximum sentence of death while that of being in possession of military stores attracts a life sentence.
The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) Monday referred the case of Kitatta and 12 others to the Unit Disciplinary Court (UDC) of Uganda Peoples’ Defence forces at Mbuya Army Barracks.
The appeared before the court on Monday but the group didn’t take plea for the charges against them and were remanded to Kigo prison until February 9, when they will reappear before the military court for mention of the case.
The others are Joel Kibirige, Matia Ssenfuka, Hassan Ssebata, John Kayondo, Hassan Ssengooba, Sunday Ssemogerere, John Ssebandeke, Sowali Ngobi, Amon Twinomujuni, Hussein Mugema, Fred Bwanika and Ibrahim Ssekajja. They all face five charges, which include four counts of failure to protect war material contrary to Section 122 (1) and (2) (h) and (I) of the UPDF Act, 2005.
“The criminal procedure requires that a court without jurisdiction can only read the charges preferred and remand the accused,” the military emphasized in its statement.
Akiiki explained that the civilians who are mostly members of Boda Boda 2010, were to be tried in court martial under section 119 of the UPDF Act which states that every person found in unlawful possession of arms, ammunition or equipment ordinarily being monopoly of the defence forces becomes subject to military law.
Kitata was arrested on January 20, a day after CMI had apprehended his young brother, Huzairu Kiwalabye over the kidnap and killing of Case Hospital accountant, Francis Ekalungar.
Ekalungar was kidnapped on second January as he took the hospital’s money worth Shs15million to the bank. His charred body was discovered a day later at Kajjansi along Entebbe road.
The army arrested at least 30 members of Bodaboda 2010 but has since released 18.