Army Court releases 17 of 35 Bobi Wine’s supporters on bail

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 has released 17 of the 35 supporters of of former presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine who have been on remand since December last year when they were arrested from Kalangala Island during the presidential campaigns. 18 others have been further remanded until June 8, 2021. 

Those released on Shs 20 million (non-cash) bail include; Robinson Ntambi Mudde, Stanley Kafuko aka Kysta, Kivumbi Achileo, Samson Ssekiranda aka Giant, Robert Katumba, Kyabagu Geserwa aka Pympah, Faisal Kigongo aka Ras Fazo, Musa Mulimira, Sam Mutumba aka Papa Sam, Hussein Mukasa aka Oshea, John Bosco Sunday, Fahad Tamale, Bashir Murusha and William Nyanzi aka Mbogo. 

Others are Adam Matovu, Charles Mpanga, Muhammed Nsubuga, and Sharif Najja alias Don Sharif. Army Court chairperson, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti released the suspects on Tuesday 25th, saying that some of them are sickly and that the state didn’t raise any objection to their bail application presented last week. 

Military prosecutors led by captain Ambrose Guma said that they didn’t have any objection to bail application of the accused persons. He, however, hastened to add that they are finalizing the scrutinizing of the affidavits for the remaining 18 suspects.   

These include; Ali Bukeni aka Nubian Li, Edward Ssebuufu aka Eddie Mutwe, Hassan Ssemakula alias Abdul Souldier, Kenny Kyalimpa, Lukeman Mwijukye alias Kampala, Ibrahim Tamale, Muzafuru Mwanje alias Main Gate alias Muwa, Achileo Kivumbi, Joseph Onzima alias Tawa, Anthony Agaba alias Bobi Young, Robert Kivumbi alias Mighty Family and Brian Ssemanda alias Dictator Museveni Must Go.

The others are; Geoffrey Mutalya, Richard Kalema alias Ricardo, Alex Karamagi alias Doggy City, Daniel Onywerot alias Dan Magic, Isma Muganga alias Jaja Isma and Baker Kalyango.  

Guma prayed for a short adjournment to enable them file a response to the bail application of the eighteen suspects. While releasing the 17 suspects, Lt. Gen. Gutti ordered them not to go beyond Kampala and Wakiso districts without permission from the Army Court.

He also directed them to report to court twice a month every after fourteen days on Wednesday, each of their sureties were bonded at Shs 50 million (non-cash). Gutti warned that the breach of any of the bail terms will lead to the automatic cancellation of bail.

The sureties included top NUP party leaders such as Aisha Kabanda, the deputy secretary-general, Flavia Kalule Nabagabe, the head of the Women’s League, Mathias Mpuuga, the NUP vice president in charge of Buganda region, David Lewis Rubongoya, the secretary-general, Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu, the head of Mobilization and Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro the head of training and patriotism.  

Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine’s close friend Nubian Li [L], born Ali Bukenya, and his personal bodyguard Edward Ssebuffu alias Eddie Mutwe [R]

The suspects are part of the more than 100 NUP supporters arrested upon arrival in Kalangala district on December 30, 2020, during the campaign trail of former NUP presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu. They were first arraigned before Masaka Magistrate’s court on January 4, 2021, where they were charged with inciting violence and granted bail.  

However, the accused didn’t leave prisons after the Uganda Prison Services indicated that they had received a production warrant to present them before the Makindye based General Court Martial.  

Read Also: Bobi Wine’s NUP party accuses security of targeting their supporters during night operations

On January 8, 2021, the group comprising of men and women was charged with illegal possession of ammunition i.e. four bullets before being remanded to Kitalya and Kigo government’s prison.  

Days later, they applied for bail which was rejected by the court-martial chairperson on February 15. He later released 13 of the suspects, arguing that the rest have the potential of fueling acts of violence once released.  

On March 1, the group filed a third bail application before the High court criminal division. The court declined to entertain their application on grounds that a court trying someone is well placed to handle the bail application since it’s well conversant with the facts of the case. The applicant’s lawyers led by Anthony Wameli then filed a fourth bail application before the Army Court (General Court Martial), which was partly determined on Tuesday 25th, May 2021.

Wameli said the release of only 17 of the 35 yet they are all in the same court, detained at the same prison, and facing similar charges is a deliberate tactic meant to break resolve and create discontentment amongst the suspects.