Retired captain David Kabuye was arraigned before the Gasabo Intermediate Court today for a pre-trial hearing on charges that he illegally possessed a firearm.
The businessman was arrested two weeks ago.
Prosecution alleges that he possessed an unregister pistol but Kabuye refutes this, claiming that authorities knew he had the gun although it was unregistered.
Prosecutor Boniface Budengeri requested the Court to remand Kabuye in jail for 30 days on grounds that he is accused of committing a serious offence and would likely attempt to flee if he was granted bail.
However, Kabuye told the judge that he would not flee and also offered his wife, brother and sister as sureties.
“Illegal possession of a firearm is a crime punishable by law; the court should not legitimize his excuses of owning a gun. We request that he should be remanded to custody for 30 days to allow the prosecution finalise with the dossier and reject his guarantors since we have no proof that they are persons of integrity,” said Budengeri.
In his defense, Kabuye said that he has had the pistol for 15 years and have never used it in any criminal acts.
“I got it from DR Congo and by then, it was a custom to find a gun for yourself since we were at the battlefield. When I retired from the RDF, I returned all military equipment and properties but I remained with the pistol for my personal security and that of my family,” he said.
The judge however asked him if he found no problem possessing an unregistered gun yet there were procedures and laws governing a civilians ownership and use of firearms; Kabuye admitted that indeed it was wrong.
“It is wrong but I am a reservist, I am not like any other person. I only carried the gun when I was on night patrols,” he said.
Kabuye further told the court that he shouldn’t be placed into remand because Prosecution didn't need to carry out too many investigations, further requesting that the trial begin in substance in the quickest time possible.
Court will announce its decision on whether to grant him bail or not later this evening