The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) has confirmed that more than 100 supporters of National Unit Platform (NUP) who were arrested during the security raid in Kamwokya will be tried in Court Martial after investigations are concluded. NUP is a political party headed by Presidential Hope Full Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
UPDF Spokesperson Brig.Gen Flavia Byekwaso announced their trial in Court Martial during a long telephone interview with Spyreports. “The suspects will be paraded before General Court Martial based in Makindye when their files get ready,” she says.
Brig. Byekwaso says UPDF will conference with police and see those to face court martial and criminal courts.
Meanwhile, 44 NUP supporters have been charged at KCCA city hall and remanded to Kityala prisons until 23rd October, 2020.
On Wednesday, Police and the army raided different parts of the city including NUP offices, where they arrested dozens of people suspected to be wearing, selling and manufacturing red berets, red T-shirts and posters. They also seized several other items.
NUP Spokesperson Joel Senyonyi later said that operatives made off with several valuables from the offices, including cash and signatures meant for the nomination of Bobi Wine.
Police and the army said they were holding the suspects on offence of illegal possession of government stores. The offence is a minor one in the Penal Code Act.
“Security had got their intelligence information that some political young groups had started a militia-like behavior by forming brigades in yellow, red, blue, among others and that’s why such materials were picked up.” Says Gen Byekwaso.
Police spokesperson for Kampala metropolitan areas Patrick Onyango says the suspects are being held for illegal possession of government stores.
“Of these suspects, 50 were picked from NUP offices in Kamwokya, 38 were picked from Kiira road policing area, 30 picked up from the central business district and 14 were from Katwe policing area,” Onyango said.
Several human rights activists have continuously opposed the idea of taking civilians to a military court.
Human Rights Watch says military courts “did not meet international standards of competence, independence, and impartiality, but that military courts have routinely violated fundamental fair trial rights, such as the right to present a defence, the right against self-incrimination, and the prohibition on the use of evidence procured by torture”.