Rwenzururu Leaders Charged With Murder at Army Court

salve thumb geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The other Ministers are Joshua Balikurungi (Security), view Murema Yolamu, stomach (Native Administration), Jackson Muliro (Language Development), Elisha Mberemu (Deputy Minister for Security), Katya Aganatya Muhindo, in charge of (Culture) and Elly Nyakango Thembo, Minister in charge of Kyatenga Regional affairs.

The public court which sat at Rwenzori Square in Kasese Municipality, slapped 12 counts of murder, Contrary to Section 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act Cap120, and 04 counts of Attempt to Murder, Contrary to Section 204 (a) of the Penal Code Act Cap 120.

About 1,000 people, comprising District Leaders and other members of the General Public turned up to witness the proceedings.

Plea taking hits snag

Having read the particulars of the accused and the charges against them, court adjourned for lunch break, with a promise to have the accused enter plea when it resumes.


However, this did not happen as the Defence Counsel Capt Ronald Iduli objected to his clients taking plea before the court had explained its jurisdiction to them.

Some of the accused had earlier wondered why they were being tried in a military court, yet they are civilians.

Counsel also objected to the accused taking plea without their lawyers as court had blocked them from representing their clients since they had not officially filed to the Court Registrar an “instruction and notice to represent” at least 24 hours before the court sitting, as required under rule 36 of the Court rules of procedure. The Defence Counsel then applied for an adjournment until these are sorted out.

The Court Chairman then ruled that the court adjourns till August 5, 2014, to allow the Defence Counsel file an application for court jurisdiction and the private lawyers to file instructions and notices to represent. The suspects were remanded to Katojo Government Prison.

Earlier on, the Court Chairman Maj Gen Levi Karuhanga, alongside six other members, introduced themselves to the accused, who were later given an opportunity to state whether they had an objection to any of the members hearing their cases.

None of the accused raised any objection. However, some the accused raised a complaint about the jurisdiction of the GCM trying them as civilians.

They were also asked to state whether they would wish to be represented by the Court Defence Counsel Capt Ronald Iduli or would have their private lawyers.

Seventy Seven of the accused implied they would be represented by Private Lawyers, who included Sibendire Godfrey of Sibendire, Tayebwa and Company Advocates and Masereka Chan of Masereka and Company Advocates.

Uganda Christian Lawyers Fraternity, a Non – Governmental Organisation that provides free legal services to those who cannot afford legal fees, also offered to represent all the suspects alongside the Defence Counsel and the Private Lawyers.

Court will return to Bundibugyo district Wednesday and will sit again on Thursday to hear pleas to charges of murder and attempted murder, which were preferred to the 125 suspects there last Saturday.

Meanwhile, a total of 271 people have so far reported to two centres set up by Government in Kasese and Bundibugyo district for purposes of granting them amnesty in connection with the same offences.

These had fled after the attackers were suppressed by joint security forces in the three districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko.

16 guns of the 21 stolen by the attackers have so far been returned voluntarily.

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