Kabaziguruka Wants Army Courts Scrapped off
By Serestino Tusingwire
Nakawa Municipality MP Michael Kabaziguruka has petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking a declaration that the General Court Martial and other military courts are unconstitutionally established.
Kabaziguruka who is facing treachery charges in the Army court at Makindye says these courts are merely tribunals set up for purposes of disciplining errant military officials and not courts of law within the meaning of the Constitution.
Kabaziguruka in his petition says that in 8th June 2016 he was arrested by Police officers and taken to SIU where he spent a night and on 28th June he was arraigned before Makindye Gen court martial chaired by Lt Gen Gutti who charged him with offences relating to security and Treachery alongside other people including UPDF officers, which he says greatly affected him.
The Nakawa MP adds that he complained on the powers of the Court Martial to try civilians but the officers sitting on the panel of this court insisted that they had powers to try anybody with a criminal offence.
Through his lawyers of Lukwago and company advocates Kabaziguruka is seeking for the powers of the military courts to be reduced and limited to only disciplining soldiers rather than charging them (soldiers) and civilians with any other offences.
Kabaziguruka accuses the 6th Parliament of over stepping its powers by creating section 197 of the UPDF Act that establishes the General Court Martial other than a mere tribunal to instill discipline among UPDF soldiers.
The MP also wants the Constitutional Court to suspend the trial against him and his co-accused and at the same time issue an order barring court martial from further trying of any capital offence.