Uganda: DPP Withdraws Charges Against MP Zaake

Mityana — The Director of Public prosecutions, Ms Jane Frances Abodo has withdrawn charges of negligent act likely to cause spread of coronavirus and disobedience of lawful orders against Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament, Mr Francis Zaake.

Mr Zaake was arrested on April 19, for allegedly distributing food relief to people in Buswabulongo, Mityana Municipality.

He was allegedly tortured by the security forces and later produced in court while unable to stand and sit without support.

This forced the Chief Magistrate to order for his hospitalisation and treatment before the case court be heard.

Ms Kate Basuuta, the Mityana Resident state attorney on Wednesday told the Mityana Chief Magistrate that the DPP had discontinued prosecution.

She gave no reason for the decision.

"This is to inform court that the director of public prosecutions has decided to discontinue proceedings against Hon Zaake Francis charged with negligent act likely to spread the infection of disease contrary section 171 of the Penal Act and disobedience of lawful orders contrary to section 117 of the penal code act," a withdrawal form signed Ms Abodo, reads in part.

At the time of Mr Zaake's arrest, President Museveni had banned the distribution of relief items by individuals.

He said that anybody found doing so would be charged with attempted murder.

Since April, Mr Zaake has been reporting to Mityana Magistrates Court.

He also filed a separate case of torture against a number of top police officers.

On Wednesday, the six officers he accused of torture were supposed to appear at court, but did not show up. They were represented by their lawyer, Mr Elias Tumwebaze.

Mr Aaron Kiiza, one of Mr Zaake lawyers said that they're unhappy with the DPP's decision to withdraw the case.

"They failed to investigate the case and failed to produce evidence," he said.

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