Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World

Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World
Red Roses for You, My Sweet Friends ... Total Love.

My Sweet Friends

My sweet friends,

We grow closer to each other;

When we interact together and share ideas;

The common faith that we share,

Binds our hearts in one accord.

For sweet friendships last a life time,

When built on mutual respect, humility and understanding;

Throughout each different season,

We find we are one in life.

Sweet friends are there through times of grief;

And times when hope is gone;

Always there with encouragement;

So we can carry on.

I thank the Lord for you,

My true and faithful friends;

To fondly speak with you, whether we agree or not,

On this, our beloved blog;

For sweet friends will stay, no matter what;

Giving support.

Together, our hearts and minds truly unite;

With the amazing love of sweet friends.

In the spirit of true friendship,

Best wishes, my sweet friends;

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

I remain, yours truly,

B.B. Bakampa.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

The General Court Martial Should Follow Justice Principles

By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma


On Monday, 1st March, 2010, the Court Martial Appeal Court sitting at Makindye delivered its judgment in the appeal case of the late Major General James Kazini, Lt. Col Dura Mawa Muhindo and Capt. Michael Baryaguma, arising from the judgment of the General Court Martial (GCM) sitting at Makindye on 27th March, 2008. That court found the three officers guilty of various offences relating to the famous ‘Ghost Soldiers’ case. Since Maj. Gen. Kazini has since passed away, this judgment is in respect of his two co-accused.

The appellate court chaired by Honourary Brigadier Elly Turyamubona and comprising Majors Wacha Angulo Charles and Godfrey Wababa as members, acquitted the appellants of all the charges. In so doing, the court made scathing remarks regarding the GC M’s handling of the case.

In their grounds of appeal, the appellants stated inter alia that the Honourable members of the GCM were biased when they convicted them without evidence to support the charges. On page 18, the court held that “We agree that the GCM acted with bias and this occasioned a miscarriage of justice…” The judgment is full of numerous observations of the GCM having occasioned miscarriages of justice.

Now, this is in my opinion, is tantamount to an impeachment of the integrity of this military court. It is sufficient evidence that the GCM is incompetent to execute its mandate of fostering justice in the army. Executing this mandate requires compliance with the core principles of justice such as that justice ought to be blind (doesn’t recognise colour, race, ethnicity and religion) and it shouldn’t be delayed (for justice delayed is justice denied). The above holding is in contravention of these principles.

The declaration of bias and occasioning miscarriages of justice is proof of the allegations that the GCM is nothing but a political tool, operating at the President’s whims and pleasure, to dispel suspected opposition. (See Ronald Naluwairo, THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF

RTD. COL. DR. KIZZA BESIGYE AND 22 OTHERS: A Critical Evaluation of the Role of the General Court Martial in the Administration of Justice in Uganda). No wonder an overwhelming majority of those before it (including the accused in this case) are those said to have fallen out with the government with all sorts of allegations levelled against them like untenable accusations of plotting treason!

In the case of A.G Vs Joseph Tumushabe, Constitutional Appeal No. 3 of 2005, the Supreme Court held that military courts “…are part of the system of courts…established under the Constitution to administer justice…” in this country. All courts in this country are enjoined to follow the above mentioned principles of justice by A.126 (2) of the Constitution and the sooner the GCM follows suit the better.

I think it is high time the High Command found it important to appoint military officers duly qualified in law to sit as members of the GCM but not those without the least appreciation of the demands of justice.

The unreasonable delay synonymous with this court as was seen under the Chairmanship of General Elly Tumwine should be stopped so that we can have speedy trials of suspects.

Although these are not a panacea to the challenges facing this court, I am optimistic that they will go a long way to salvage the operation and image of the General Court Martial as a temple of justice. Such changes, I believe, would be all to the good and might serve to place the GCM like Caesar’s wife above suspicion and reproach.