Museveni reappoints Gen Gutti chairman of Army court

Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti

Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti

President Yoweri Museveni has reappointed Lt Gen Andrew Gutti as chairman of the army court. Gutti will serve alongside 20 others as per Museveni's letter dated June 8. 

Col Richard Tukacungurwa will serve as the advocate judge while the prosecutors include; Lt Col Raphael Mugisha, Maj Emmy Ekyaruhanga, and Capt Ambroz Guma. Major Silas Kamanda Mutungi defense counsel, Lt Col John Bizimana as secretary/ registrar of the court, Capt Fatumah Wakabani, and Capt Ruth Nabitakke.

The rest of the appointees are new members and they include three new prosecutors namely Maj Mark Kugonza, Lt Alex Lasto Mukhwana, and Lt Gift Mubehamwe. There are also six new members of the panel and they are; Brig James Rubahika, Col E. H Kitahunga, Col AK. Birungi, Capt G. Lubadde Sseguya, Captain Allen Kyosaba and warrant officer one Kenneth Arinaitwe.

Others who have been appointed as reserve members are; Brig Vincent Okello Ladii, Lt Col Damian Kato Abooki, Lt Col Christine Nekessa, Maj Paul Tumukunde Miragire, Maj Sarah Sonko Asiimwe, Col Jasper Abeka, Col Ibrahim Kedi, Maj Herbert Ruhindi Mujungu, Maj Richard Turyahabwe, Maj Emmanuel Byaruhanga and Capt Gift Ajiri Kaganda.  

Those dropped from the court include Maj Gen Joseph Arocha, Brig George J. Etyang, Brigadier Francis Chemengich Chemo, Col. Frank Kyankonye, Col. David Gonyi, Lt. Col. Richard Nimanya, Maj Douglas M. Owoyesiga, warrant officer one George Matete. Lt. Col. Betty Musuya Wanyera, Maj Richard Turyahabwe, Capt Glorious Natukunda, Capt Paul Mugerwa and warrant officer one, Sunday YK Moses.

Gutti has been the head of the Court Martial since 2016. He replaced the late Maj Gen Levi Karuhanga who died in April 2016. 

Gutti has since then tried several prominent people both military officers and civilians mainly on charges related to illegal possession of firearms. Some of them include the National Unity Platform party president Robert Kyagulanyi whose charges were dropped, the patron of the infamous Boda Boda 2010 Association Abdallah Kitatta who was convicted as well as former Inspector of Police Gen Kale Kayihura who is still facing charges related to illegal repatriation of Rwandan refugees, failure to protect war materials among others.

A source that preferred anonymity says that it is the first time Museveni has renewed the appointments of the General Court Martial officials before their term could expire on June 9. The court-martial has several times come under criticism for being used as a tool to imprison opposition activists including Kyagulanyi's supporters. 

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd