The General Court Martial sentences comrade Saanya to 8 months in Prison
It’s a pity that Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti who presides over the Military Court Martial yesterday sentenced comrade Saanya Muhdyn Kakooza to 8 months in prison on purported charges of ‘contempt’ of the kangaroo Court at Makindye.
The arbitrary sentence follows an incident that occurred at the end of a military Court session on 15th February when comrade Kakooza protested against the year-long detention without trial of several supporters of the National Unity Platform. He and other supporters were abducted from different parts of the country shortly after the 2021 elections, tortured, and then secretly remanded to Kitalya Prison where they remain to date.
This is political persecution, and comrade Kakooza was well within his constitutional rights to call it as much. For all intents and purposes, Gen. Gutti is a lay man. He has no credible legal training whatsoever, yet he presides over a ‘Court’ that claims to have original jurisdiction over any and all offences no matter their gravity; and routinely issues some of the harshest sentences ordinarily reserved for judicial officers with 10+ years of legal practice.
While executing his duties, Mr. Gutti exudes an acute lack of conception of the most basic tenets of the right to a fair hearing. When lawyers cite for him the law, he jails or threatens to jail them! Friends, situations like the one in which comrade Kakooza finds himself in today should strengthen our resolve of ensuring that dictator Museveni’s regime leaves power. It is only then that meaningful reforms can be undertaken to shape how justice is dispensed in our country.
Men like Gutti who do not possess the qualifications of even the lowest-ranking judicial officer should not purport to decide the fate of the hundreds of citizens that appear in Courts seeking justice!