Army Court Sets Date to Rule on Trial of Civilians Charged with Kabaziguruka

Makindye General court martial has set September 12th as the date when it will pronounce its ruling in the matter where five civilians accused alongside Nakawa Municipality MP Michael Kabaziguruka of treachery are challenging their trial in the army court.

Four accused persons  who include AIP Ferdinard Obulejjo, generic Musa Lutwama, thumb Felix Alueg and Private (rtd) Fredrick Namara, remedy through the defense counsel Maj Asha Patra have filled in application saying that court martial has no jurisdiction to try civilians who were not arrested with any army item.

In her submission, Maj Patra said that since none of the accused was arrested with any army officer or with a fire arm of army stores, it will be unlawful to try civilians who are not subjected to military laws in a court martial.

“Private Namara is a retired officer because he was dismissed from the army and sentenced to 6years imprisonment service in Luzira Prison, AIP Ferdinard Wobulejjo is a police officer who is not subjected to military laws,  the same applies to other applicants who are all
civilians,” she noted.

Some of the civilians accused of treachery alongside Kabaziguruka
Some of the civilians accused of treachery alongside Kabaziguruka

Maj Patra faulted the state Prosecution for charging the accused persons on an incomplete charge sheet since “it has no details linking them to treachery acts.”

“The charge sheet does not show what they did and how they did it, the prosecution doesn’t give details of the activities where the accused persons infiltrated the security of the defense forces as the law requires”

In reply to this submission, the lead state Prosecutor Maj Raphael Mugisha objected to the defense submissions saying that sec 119 (1) gives court martial powers to try all civilians who aid and abet army officers to commit service offences.

“We shall produce evidence linking the accused persons on the charges during the hearing of this case. We are respectful of civilians being charged under military law but those who volunteer we shall have them tried in the army court”


However, although Hon Kabaziguruka challenges being tried in the army court he has refused to make formal submissions as the defense counsel Maj Asha Patra had prepared.

He made oral submissions where he asked court to stop sending in UPDF Vehicles
to Kigo Prisons where he is currently on remand.

“I was arrested by Police and recorded a statement with them; I was produced in court willingly and later remanded to Kigo government prison. While am in Kigo it’s Uganda Prisons which has the duty to produce me to court as well as transporting me back” Kabaziguruka said.

Kabaziguruka added that since he is not a serving soldier and he has never participated in any army training court martial has no jurisdiction to try him

“Article 2. 10 of the constitution of Uganda gives parliament powers to make laws governing UPDF . I don’t think the constitution has ever given parliament powers to  create any court for the army”

Kabaziguruka noted that court martial cannot try any political case because it was compelled by president Museveni who is the same commander in chief that convened the court.

“There is no chance that any of the accused persons will get a fair hearing in this court because this case is about infiltrating security of UPDF, UPDF can not prosecute you before the UPDF Panel so this matter must be taken to other competent court” Kabaziguruka added.

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