By Charles Kamya Ssentamu.
Mr. Kitatta presided over a terror group of youth that were a law unto themselves. Initially they stationed around the Lubaga area where their boss, Kitatta, was based. Later they spread around the entire Kampala.
In his heyday, Kitata was feared by all: he brandished guns to anyone whether lowly and poor or those in the high echelons of the country, some of whom appeared to depend on him for intercession to President Museveni, something he apparently did almost effortlessly.
Abdallah Kitatta had Museveni on speed-dial. Not even cabinet ministers enjoyed this privilege.
Anything the diehard NRM mobiliser wanted, Mzee, as he so fondly called the President, would do with no questions asked.
He was feared.
Kitatta would threaten Ministers and even have them fired for daring to question activities of his vigilante group that he named “Boda Boda 2010.”
Their task was to crush anything that threatened Museveni’s rule and specialized in roughing-up peaceful demonstrators.
This went on for years.
Kitatta, a semi-illiterate man, believed that he was doing patriotic duty and that he was only supporting law enforcement to do its work effectively and lending his hand to the Commander in Chief himself.
The people he believed he was serving appreciated his contributions to security. However, they were only using him. When Museveni sensed that he no longer needed Kitatta’s services, he discarded him in the most unique way. This has become a signature move on his part.
This is why Kitatta is being hanged. The Court Martial on Monday, May 13, handed him an eight-year sentence for illegal possession of a firearm. These are the same firearms Museveni gave him when he still needed him.
The sentence came as a shock to the Kitatta, who up to the last day of his trial, was convinced that his boss – Museveni – would make the call to stop off the charade and bring to an end this nightmare of his.
For this reason, Kitatta always wore a yellow shirt during trial in hopes that the bright colors would beam bright towards Museveni and get his attention.
But that call never came. Kitatta had been used and abused.
MP Robert Kyagulanyi released a statement the day after the conviction part of which described Kitatta’s conditions of incarceration:
“He (Kitatta) was quickly arrested and placed in military detention. He was tortured. He was denied bail several times even when he claimed to be sick. In many respects, he was denied the right to a fair trial. Today he is sentenced to such a long period in prison for offences he committed trying to defend the same system. I can guess that those he was trying to appease are on holiday now,” he wrote in the lengthy reflection.
Kitatta joins a long line of people who worked their tails off for Museveni only for him to turn around and point them towards the grave. Kitatta should count himself lucky that he didn’t face the fate of people like Andrew Kayira, Francis Ayume, Noble Mayombo, Aronda Nyakairima, Andrew Kaweesi, and hundreds of others.