The Kitatta Saga
Last month, Boda Boda 2010 boss and National Resistance Movement Rubaga division chairperson Abdullah Kitatta was arraigned before the Military court martial together with 12 others accused of offences related to unlawful possession of military hardware. They were found with guns and military uniforms. According to article 119 of the UPDF act which explains the kind of people subject to military law.
“Every person found in unlawful possession of arms, ammunition or equipment ordinarily being monopoly of the defence forces becomes subject to military rule”
If convicted, Hajji Abdullah Kitatta and co accused shall face the death penalty. Kitatta was arrested on January 20th, after the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence investigations implicated his younger brother Huzairu Kiwalabye in the kidnap and murder of Francis Ekalungar, a Case Hospital accountant whose car, a Toyota Premio and fifteen million Uganda shillings cash was robbed from him.
In addition to the crimes he is facing in the Makindye based court martial, there are several people who have come out to report complaints of kidnap, torture, robbery and murder against Kitatta during his time at the helm of Boda Boda 2010, an organisation that claimed authority over the lucrative motor cycle taxis business in Uganda. One of the most infamous events orchestrated by Kitatta was the invasion of Makindye high court in 2016. He mobilised young men who attacked lawyers and judges at the court where inspector general of police was scheduled to appear. Their actions indeed blocked his appearance. It was a humiliating experience for the justice system in Uganda.
This was a reminder of a similar event in 2007 when plain clothed operatives who were later code named Black Mamba attacked the high court and re arrested Kiiza Besigye after he had been released on bail. These operatives were commanded by Gen David Tinyefunza aka Sejjusa. Both Sejjusa and Kitatta have a few things in common. They both took part in illegal activities that were backed by certain groups operating within the government. They both fell out or stepped on a few toes and they were thrown out of the system that previously protected them.
It is difficult to convince Ugandans that security agencies were not aware of Kitatta’s illegal activities for the past 8 years that he has been actively involved in boda boda and national politics. At some point, IGP Kale Kayihura defended his association with Kitatta while appearing before parliament that boda boda 2010 was crucial in gathering intelligence. So who did Kitatta annoy to fall out of favour with the powers that be?
Many believe that it could be because of personal feud between police boss Gen Kale Kayihura and minister of security Gen Henry Tumukunde that lead to implication of the named individuals. The latter is under whom the Chieftaincy of military intelligence operates, the same organ that has spearheaded the arrest of Kitatta and company over crimes that should be investigated by police. It is suspected that this is a plan for the downfall of Kale Kayihura by exposing his dirt. For the layman, the efficiency exhibited by the CMI in investigating Kitatta and boda boda 2010 is a breathe of fresh air from the normal delayed investigations common with the police.