Uganda: Police Fire Teargas As MP Ssekikubo Is Released On Bail

14 January 2020

Police on Tuesday fired teargas to disperse jubilant supporters of Lwemiyaga County MP, Theodore Ssekikubo after he was released on bail.

Mr Ssekikubo was released on Tuesday morning by Masaka Chief Magistrate Deogratius Ssejjemba on non-cash bail of Shs10m while his five sureties were bonded Shs25 million not cash each, pending hearing of his case.

The sureties included; Ms Babirye Kabanda (Masaka Woman MP), Hanifer Kawooya (Woman MP Sembabule), Barnabas Tinkasimire(MP Buyaga West), Florence Namayanja (MP Bukoto East) andJohnson Kamugisha , LC5 councillor Lwemiyaga Sub County.

According to court records, Ssekikubo together with a police officer Alex Mugabi who was acting as his guard then, on August 2, 2010 at Sembabule playground, during the ruling NRM party primaries, using an illegal firearm engaged in acts calculated to cause death and inciting violence.

Posecution further alleges that the duo also caused physical injuries to voters and destroyed NRM party property, obstructed police officers on duty and incited violence against Mr Emmanuel Ssekimpi, the former NRM returning officer in Sembabule.

Prosecution led by Ms Aminah Akasa had on Monday submitted that Ssekikubo had jumped bail in 2010, which was the basis for denying him bail.

But Mr Sssejjemba said on Tuesday that after studying both prosecution and accused submissions, he discovered that the lawmaker had not jumped bail.

"Much as the charge sheet is of 2010, it has only one signature and that is mine which I appended yesterday [Monday].Therefore, the accused has never appeared before court, indicating that he has never jumped bail," the magistrate said.

"Therefore, the accused is granted bail," he added.

The magistrate said hearing of the case will commence on February 18.

After the chief magistrate's declaration, a celebratory mood rippled across the fully packed courtyard as the MP's supporters, who had braved the scorching sun to learn of his fate, punched the air, flashed thumbs-up and broke into songs. Police fired teargas in the jubilant crowd as they attempted to make a procession in Masaka Town.

Ssekikubo lauded his supporters for being there for him and also commended the magistrate for granting him bail.

Mr Ssekikubo was arrested Friday on grounds that he allegedly mobilised residents to defy a livestock quarantine, re-opened livestock markets and incited violence against law enforcement officers in Sembabule.

Police had a week earlier closed the market following reported outbreak of foot-and -mouth disease in the area.

However, the MP said it was a deliberate ploy by to compel farmers to sell off their livestock at a giveaway price in markets in the neighbouring districts that are already manipulated by a section of businessmen in the region.

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