Uganda’s military court denies bail to 36 Bobi Wine supporters

Bobi Wine supporters denied bail
Bobi Wine supporters in court on January 4, 2021. COURTESY PHOTO/ ABUBAKER LUBOWA

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The General Court Martial in Makindye has denied bail to 36 supporters of Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform [NUP] party who are facing charges of illegal possession of ammunition.

A seven member panel led by Lt General Andrew Gutti has denied bail to the group  on grounds that they were involved in acts of violence when they were being arrested and such actions are most likely to continue if granted bail.

As such, the Court dismissed their application for bail and directed the military prosecutors to expedite investigations such that hearing can commence.

The Court relied on an affidavit  that was filed by the Prosecution led by Major Emmy Ekyaruhanga and Captain Ambroze Guma opposing the  bail application.

The prosecutors had adduced an affidavit sworn by  Detective Assistant Inspector of Police Peter Wetaaka who is attached to Criminal Investigations Department of Police in Kibuli.

Wetaaka said  that by the time the applicants  were arrested, they were inciting violent protests and were of violent conduct towards police officers who arrested them from Kalangala district.

Wetaaka further argued that the applicants who are part of a group of 49 were most likely to continue the same behaviors and they should not be granted bail

Those denied bail are;

Ali Bukeni Alias Nubian Li, Edward Ssebuwufu alias Eddie Mutwe,  Hassan Ssemakula alias Abdul Soldier, Kenny Kyalimpa , Mudde Ntambi, William Nyanzi alias Mbogo, Lukeman Mwijukye alias Kampala, Muhammad Nsubuga alias Edobozi, Adam Matovu, Shakirah Nambozo alias Sukie,  Ibrahim Tamale, Muzafuru Mwanje alias Main Gate alias Muwa, Ismail Nyanzi Kaddu.

Others are: 

Achileo Kivumbi, Joseph Onzima alias Tawa, Anthony Agaba alias Bobi Young, Robert Kivumbi alias Mighty Family, Samson Ssekiranda alias Giant, Sharifa Najja alias Don Sharifa, Brian Ssemanda alias Director Museveni Must Go, Robert Katumba, Faisol Kigongo alias Ras Fazo, Musa Mulimira,  Sam Mutumba alias Papa Sam, Richard Kalema alias Ricardo, Alex Karamagi alias Doggy City, Daniel Onywerot alias Dan Magic, Hussein Mukasa alias OShea, John Bosco Sunday alias JB, Isma Muganga alias Jaja Isma, Fahad Tamale and Bashir Murusha.

The relatives of the said  persons through their lawyers led by George Musisi have described the action of denying their people bail as disgraceful.

Musisi said that when you deny someone bail under the law you are supposed to give specific reasons which are not based on fantasy and speculations.

Accordingly, Musisi has revealed that they are not going to return to the Court Martial to reapply for bail. Instead, He says they will be applying to the High Court which has original jurisdictions to try civilians.

The 36 supporters who have been sent back on remand until unknown  dates were part of a group of 49 supporters of National Unity Platform [NUP] presidential  candidate Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine who were arrested during his campaigns in Kalangala district in December 2020.

They were later charged with illegal possession of ammunition.

However, their lawyers  applied for bail for the entire group on grounds that some of them had been tortured while under custody and some were sole bread winners at their respective homes.

The lawyers also argued that the  accused were still innocent until proven guilty adding that the charges against them were bailable.  But following Wetaaka’s affidavit, the court released 13 of the 49 supporters last week.

This was  on grounds that Wetaaka hadn’t objected to their bail application and the court chose to keep the 36 on remand  in Kitalya and Kigo government’s Prisons until today to pronounce ruling on their application.

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The prosecution alleges that the accused persons and others still at large on January 3rd 2021 were found while at Makerere Kavule , Kigundu Zone Kawempe Division, in illegal possession of four rounds of ammunition of an AK 47 gun and the said ammunition was  a monopoly of the defense forces.

Meanwhile some of the relatives and friends of the accused persons who had not been granted access to court premises became chaotic after receiving news that their people had been denied bail.

They started protesting the decision and Military Police soldiers started running after them beating them terribly with some having nowhere to run to, having been cordoned off in the corridors of buildings.