President Yoweri Museveni has named 21 new members to serve in the General Court Martial.
In a letter dated June 8th, President Museveni reappointed Lt Gen Andrew Gutti as the army court chairman for another term.
Others reappointed are; Col Richard Tukacungurwa as Judge Advocate, Prosecutors Lt Col Raphael Mugisha, Major Emmy Ekyaruhanga and Captain Ambroz Guma, Major Silas Kamanda Mutungi as the Defense Counsel, Lt Col John Bizimana as Secretary/ Registrar of the court, Captain Fatumah Wakabani and Captain Ruth Nabitakke.
The rest of the appointees are new members and they include three new prosecutors namely Major Mark Kugonza, Lt Alex Lasto Mukhwana and Lt Gift Mubehamwe. There are also six new members of the Panel and they are; Brigadier James Rubahika, Col E. H Kitahunga, Col AK. Birungi, Captain G. Lubadde Sseguya, Captain Allen Kyosaba and Warrant Officer One Kenneth Arinaitwe.
Others who have been appointed as reserve members are; Brigadier Vincent Okello Ladii, Lt Col Damian Kato Abooki, Lt Col Christine Nekessa, Major Paul Tumukunde Miragire, Major Sarah Sonko Asiimwe, Col Jasper Abeka, Col Ibrahim Kedi, Major Herbert Ruhindi Mujungu, Major Richard Turyahabwe, Major Emmanuel Byaruhanga and Captain Gift Ajiri Kaganda.
Those dropped from the court include Major General Joseph Arocha, Brigadier George J. Etyang, Brigadier Francis Chemengich Chemo, Col. Frank Kyankonye, Col. David Gonyi, Lt. Col. Richard Nimanya, Major Douglas M. Owoyesiga, Warrant Officer One George Matete. Lt. Col. Betty Musuya Wanyera, Major Richard Turyahabwe, Captain Glorious Natukunda, Captain Paul Mugerwa and Warrant Officer One, Sunday YK Moses.
The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense/ Veteran Affairs Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso confirmed this development in a message posted on the official Twitter handle of the army.
“The C-I-C (Commander in Chief) General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has reappointed Lt General Andrew Gutti Chairman General Court Martial. On behalf of UPDF, I congratulate him”, tweeted Byekwaso.
Lt Gen Gutti has been the head of the Court Martial since 2016. He replaced the late Major General 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 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 the president has renewed the appointments of the General Court Martial officials before their term could expire on June 9th.
The court-martial has several times come under criticism for being used as a tool to imprison Opposition activists.