Uganda: Court Grants Bail to 11 Nup Supporters

21 January 2021

Masaka Chief Magistrate's Court has granted bail to 11 National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters accused of inciting violence and acting in a manner likely to cause the spread of a dangerous disease.

Records before the court show that the accused persons committed the offences on December 30 at Kibale Village, in Mugoye Sub-County in Kalangala District.

Masaka Chief Magistrate Charles Yeteise on Tuesday heard that the accused persons had been in prison for more than two weeks after a prison bus from Masaka Ssaza Prison, which was bringing them to court, was diverted to Makindye Military Barracks in Kampala.

The suspects were then arraigned before the General Court Martial, which later remanded them to Kitalya Prison.

The Tuesday court session held in Masaka was conducted using Zoom, where more than 50 accused persons narrated how they are languishing in Kitalya prison.

They were remanded by the court martial after being denied access to medical services, close relatives and their lawyers.

Those granted bail include Mr Ali Bukeni, alias Nubian Lee, Mr Edward Ssebufu, alias Eddie Mutwe, and Mr Stanley Kafuko. Others are Mr Lukman Kampala Mwijukye, Ms Rachel Akiiki, and Ms Shamira Nabukalu.

Unfortunately, the group will remain in prison since they are still facing other charges of illegal possession of bullets, among others before the General Court Martial. Those who were held at Masaka Ssaza Prison were released after securing court bail.

The accused persons' lawyer, Mr Alexander Lule, told court that he had instructions from his clients to apply for bail and he presented 11 sureties.

State prosecutor Amina Akasa told court that she had no objection to the bail application though she asked court to issue criminal summons to five NUP supporters that were absent in court to appear in the next sitting.

The presiding magistrate agreed with the defence lawyer to grant the accused persons bail of Shs200,000 cash each and their sureties at Shs1m noncash.

Mr Yeteise also ordered Kitalya Prisons authorities to allow the accused persons access their lawyers and a few close relatives and also enable those who are sick to access medical services. He adjourned the matter to February 11 for further hearing.

On December 30, security agencies in a joint operation arrested 126 NUP supporters, including Mr Robert Kyagulanyi's drivers and private bodyguards.

Some of those arrested were detained at Kalangala Police Station and on Tuesday, they appeared before Kalangala Magistrate's Court and were released.

During the arrest, the police confiscated Mr Kyagulanyi's official campaign car and three other cars in his convoy and they are still parked at Kalangala Police Station.

Mr Kyagulanyi has since protested the security crackdown on his close associates and supporters.

Background

On December 30, security agencies in a joint operation arrested 126 NUP supporters, including Mr Robert Kyagulanyi's drivers and private bodyguards. Some of those arrested were detained at Kalangala Police Station and on Tuesday, they appeared before Kalangala Magistrate's Court and were released. During the arrest, the police confiscated Mr Kyagulanyi's official campaign car and three other cars in his convoy.

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