KAMPALA – The Army High Command has for the second time renewed the term of the chairman of the General Court Martial, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti, a move that is seen to pave way for the trial of former police chief Kale Kayihura soon.
Gen Gutti started his first term as Court Martial chairman on 27 June 2016, replacing the late Maj Gen Elly Karuhanga. His term had expired on June 9.
The court that sits at Makindye in Kampala has not sat since last week, leaving several cases pending.
However, sources have told PML Daily that the court is set to resume hearing pending cases after the UPDF High Command approved the renewal of Gen Gutti’s tenure on Monday. Maj John Bizimana, the court registrar, confirmed the development on Tuesday evening.
The pending cases before the army court include those involving senior police officers Nixon Agasirwe and Joel Aguma, who are charged with with kidnapping a former bodyguard of Rwandan President Paul Kagame in 2013. They have been remanded to prison, pending investigations.
Other cases include those involving the patron of Boda Boda 2010 Association, Mr Abudallah Kitatta, who is jointly charged with 12 other suspects, including Mr John Ssebandeke, a crime preventer of Nabweru in Wakiso District, in connection with alleged unlawful possession of firearms.
Also pending before the army court is the trial of jailed former MP for Bubulo West, Mr Tonny Kipoi Nsubuga, Nakawa MP Michael Kabaziguruka and suspects on remand over Gulu attack.
The court is also soon expected to been hearing involving Gen Kayihura and other police and army officers currently under custody in connection to various offences, among them murder, kidnap, treason, espionage and aggravated robbery.
However, it is not clear how Lt Gen Andrew Gutti will proceed with the hearing since under the military command, he cannot try an officer above his rank. Kayihura is a General yet Gutti is a Lieutenant General.
The General Court Martial is established under Section 197 of the UPDF Act, 2005, with unlimited original powers to hear and determine all appeals referred to it from decisions of the Divisional Court Martial and Unit Disciplinary Committees.