Mbuya barracks attack: Suspects fail to present witnesses

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Two soldiers facing trial on treachery charges at the General Court Martial over the alleged attack on Mbuya Army Barracks in 2013 have failed to present witnesses to defend themselves.

Through their lawyer Maj Asha Patra, the suspects; Lt Augustine Moro and Pte Kenneth Kalokwera Okello told the military court at Makindye that they had failed to call the witnesses after promising to do so for weeks.

“This case was given the last adjournment. I have consulted my clients and we agreed to close our case since we have failed to bring the witnesses,” Maj Patra told court.

The suspects are charged with treachery and guard duties contrary to the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces Act.

Lt Moro had told the court that he intended to call three defence witnesses who are high-profile army officers to testify in their defence.

The submission by the suspects prompted the Court chaired by Lt Gen Andrew Gutti to direct the prosecution to make written submissions and the state replies by February 14, this year, before court makes a verdict.

The army prosecution led by Maj Raphael Mugisha alleges that on March 4, 2013, the suspects and others still at large, at Lower Mbuya Military Barracks in Nakawa Division in Kampala, attacked the guards to get guns, an act that was intended to prejudice the security of the defence forces.

It is alleged that Lt Moro and Pte Okello and others at Kataza on the Railway Line in Nakawa without authority gave out confidential information regarding the location of weapons in the barracks to people not entitled to receive it.

Prosecution witnesses earlier testified that upon arrest, Lt Moro confessed to the arresting officers that the aborted attack sought to acquire guns to overthrow the government.

Lt Col Moses Kiwanuka, the former commander of Mbuya Army Barracks, testified that gunshots rang out at the army headquarters on the fateful day.

He testified that he found Lt Moro at the scene lying alongside a dead body in an army uniform that had contrasting pips of a Colonel and Lieutenant.

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