Boda-Boda 2010 patron Abdallah Kitatta has told the army court that he was given armed bodyguards on the orders of President Yoweri Museveni. Appearing before the General Court Martial (GCM) yesterday, Kitatta, 40, said when he told President Museveni that his life was in danger, he directed former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen. Kale Kayihura, to get him a bodyguard.
“Gen. Kayihura asked me where I reside and the magnitude of the threat I was exposed to in the presence of the late police spokesperson, Andrew Felix Kaweesi, and he gave me security personnel,” he revealed.
Kayihura, who is currently out on bail, is battling charges of failure to protect war materials and aiding the kidnap and illegal repatriation of Rwandan nationals before the same court. Kitatta also said he needed security because he is a celebrated politician, chairperson of National Resistance Movement (NRM) Rubaga division and National Union of Drivers, Cyclists and Allied Workers.
Kitatta said at the time he requested for security, there were serious riots, which led to the burning of Nateete Police Station. The police station was burnt by suspected rioters when security agencies blocked the then Katikkiro of Buganda, Eng. John Baptist Walusimbi, at Sezibwa bridge from visiting Kayunga district. Although Kitatta has been known as Patron of Boda-Boda 2010, he surprisingly told court that he has never been its member or chairman.
“The allegations that I own BodaBoda 2010 offices in Wakaliga are false,” he said.
He was testifying under the guidance of his lawyer, Shaban Sanywa, before a panel of seven court martial members, led by Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti. Kitatta disclosed that he has had four bodyguards, with the latest being Police officer Ngobi Sowali, who has served him for five years.
“When my bodyguard, Allan Matsiko, was shot at Busega market, where I was attending a rally, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Siraje Bakaleke, assigned Sowali to me, saying he had been directed to get for me a disciplined officer,” he said.
Kitatta said when the army arrested him at Vine hotel in Wakaliga, he was not found with a gold-coated pistol as the prosecution team, led by Maj. Raphael Mugisha, alleges.
“I only saw the gold-coated pistol when it was displayed before court. I have never held a gun in my life,” he said.
“No sooner had I finished calling Ngobi, telling him I had been surrounded, than the soldiers broke into my room. The soldiers searched me and took the phone as they asked if I had a gun, but I told them I did not have a gun,” he narrated.
Kitatta’s demand for closedcircuit television (CCTV) footage of the fateful day fell on deaf ears, with Gen. Gutti telling him it was supposed to be his lawyer’s responsibility to produce it in court as part of his evidence.
“It is in the interest of justice that court directs that the CCTV camera footage is produced in court as it is key evidence in Kitatta’s case,” Sanywa pleaded with court.
In response, Gen. Gutti asked: “does the video view people sleeping or dressing up in their rooms?” throwing the court into laughter.
Kitatta also told court that the witnesses who testified against him were not on the scene during his arrest.
Kitatta, who wore a pair of blue jeans and yellow T-shirt, appeared confident as he gave his testimony. Kitatta, Sowali and eight others are battling five counts of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition and one count of unlawful possession of military stores.
They are battling the charges under section 3 (1) of the Firearms Act and section 160 of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Act, 2005. The offences attract a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, on conviction.
Prosecution alleges that Kitatta, on January 20, 2018, at Vine Hotel in Wakaliga, a Kampala suburb, was found in unlawful possession of a submachine gun (SMG), two pistols and 50 rounds of ammunition. Prosecution further alleges that the accused, on the same date, was found in possession of military headgear (caps) and uniforms. According to prosecution, the above items are the monopoly of the UPDF and it is wrong for civilians to possess them. The case has been adjourned to January 21 for further hearing.