At least 132 people arrested after a raid at the National Unit Platform head offices will be tried in a court-martial.
Speaking to the Daily Monitor on Thursday, the spokesperson of Defence and Uganda People’s Defence Forces, Brig Flavia Byekwaso said the suspects will be arraigned before the army court once their files are ready.
“We shall have a case conferencing with the police and see those to be charged in army court and who to charge in criminal courts,” Brig Byekwaso told the publication.
The army together with the police raided various parts of the city including NUP offices, where presidential hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi known as Bobi Wine and arrested several people said to wearing, selling and manufacturing red, red T-shirts and posters. They also seized several other things.
NUP party leaders said the operatives took several valuable from the premises including cash and signatures meant for the nomination of Bobi Wine.
The authority said they were holding the suspects on the account of being in possession of government stores.
Various human rights activists have occasionally opposed the idea of taking civilian to a military court.
According to Human Right Watch, the military courts does not “meet international standards of competence, independence, and impartiality.”
” Military courts have routinely violated fundamental fair trial rights, such as the right to present a defence, the right against self-incrimination, and the prohibition on the use of evidence procured by torture,” it said.
Brig Byekwaso said they made the arrests after realizing some political groups have begun showing some “militia-like behaviour”.
“The materials were picked after the security got intelligence information that some young political groups had started a militia-like behaviour by forming brigades in yellow, red, blue, among others,” Brig said.
While the Kampala Metropolitan police spokesperson, Patrick Onyango said the suspects are held for illegally possessing government stores.
“Of these suspects, 50 were picked from NUP offices in Kamwokya, 38 were picked from Kiira road policing area, 30 picked up from the central business district and 14 were from Katwe policing area,” Onyango said.
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Following of Bobi Wine, his party has written to the Independent Electoral Commission to give it more time to raise signatures for their presidential candidate.
“We would seek the indulgence of the electoral commission to offer us an extension of time for the submission of the signatures, in case we are not able to raise the required number by the deadline,” read the letter in part.
According to NUP secretary-general David Lewis Rubongoya, the raid into their offices disorganised them.