In Summary

The outgoing court chief says limited space for the court had caused case backlogs.

Kampala

The outgoing head of the General Court Martial, Brig Fred Tolit, has asked the government to provide more space for the court.

While handing over office to Brig Moses Ddiba Ssentongo last week, Brig Tolit said the Makindye-based premises were shared between the General Court Martial and the Court Martial Appeal, which hinders the speedy handling of cases. “These are two courts but the space is squeezed because if one court is sitting, another has to stop and this increases backlog,” Brig Tolit, whose term expired early this month, said.

“The city is growing and the army works better away from civilians. If only we could get land out of the city centre to avoid traffic jam and allow other investments,” Brig Tolit appealed at the function presided over by the deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt Gen Charles Angina.

Brig Tolit is commended for disposing of protracted cases at the court, including charges of spreading harmful propaganda against Brig Henry Tumukunde and Maj Nuwe Drago. He also spearheaded the refurbishment of the court premises.

Gen Angina commended Brig Tolit for exhibiting what he described as intelligent and innovative leadership that transformed the court into an attractive facility. According to the court records, Brig Ssentongo faces a challenge of a backlog of cases involving suspects arrested with firearms and other capital offences against army officers.

Other cases include the one against Col Fenekansi Mugyenyi, an appeal by Cpl Herbert Rwakihembo, challenging a 30-year jail term, treachery charges against three people arrested over the Mbuya barracks attack.