Kyotera, Uganda | URN | The Magistrates Court in Kalisizo town council, Kyotera district has released 29 of the 52 people who were arrested in connection with the Free Bobi Wine protests last week.
The protests followed the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine, the National Unity Platform [NUP] leader on November 18, 2019 in Luuka district.
The first 36 were arrested during protests on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, while 16 were arrested on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The suspects were charged with unlawful assembly and failure to adhere to the Standard Operating Procedures [SOPs] issued by the Ministry of Health to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Appearing before Joy Nambozo, the Kalisizo Chief Magistrate, the 29 defendants pleaded guilty to the charges. They were given a fine of Shs 150,000 or be sent to prison for four months. However, they paid the fine and were released amid chanting and praises.
Innocent Magezi and James Rushesha are among those who were released. Magezi says that some of their colleagues sustained severe injuries during the arrest and several are being hospitalized in poor condition.
Charles Lwanga Kirumira, the National Unity Platform [NUP] flag bearer for Kyotera County says that they were happy to see that some of their supporters were released. He adds that most of the people who were arrested were just selected for political reasons.
John Paul Mpalanyi, the Democratic Party [DP] candidate for the Kyotera County adds that they are working around the clock to see that those who are still in prison are released.