Luweero, Uganda | URN | A 23-year-old man has been remanded for circulating fake news claiming that President Yoweri Museveni is dead.
Jamilu Ssekyondwa, a resident of Kabunyata trading centre in Kamira sub-county, Luweero district on Thursday 15, July 2021 appeared before Luwero Chief Magistrate Samuel Munobe. He was charged with offensive communication contrary to section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act, 2011.
According to the charge sheet, on July 5, 2021, Ssekyondwa used his phone number 0707262431 and sent messages to 0757453373, where he alleged that Museveni had died yet it was false.
Ssekyondwa denied the charges and a plea of not guilty was entered. He applied for bail saying that he had spent a week in police cells and has a wife and a child to look after.
The Luweero Chief Resident State Attorney Peace Bashabe objected to his application saying he had not presented any surety and was a tenant who can decide to relocate making it difficult for the court to trace him.
Bashable added that the investigations into the case of circulating fake news about Museveni’s death are complete and asked the Court to set dates for hearing.
Ssekyondwa pleaded with the Magistrate saying although he was a tenant, he was born in the same area and the LC I chairman is among the relatives ready to stand as his sureties.
But Munobe rejected his bail application saying he is a tenant and was a young man who could easily find another area of settlement especially in light of pending criminal allegations against him.
Munobe also advised Ssekyondwa to secure and present details of his sureties to court.
He remanded Ssekyondwa to prison till August 13, 2021, when he will appear in his court for the hearing of the case.
Ssekyondwa was whisked back to court cells to wait for prison authorities to transfer him to Kitalya prison.
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In January 2017, Swaibu Nsamba Gwogyolonga, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) chairperson for Katikamu South Constituency in Luwero was also arrested and charged before Chief Magistrate at Buganda road for making offensive Facebook post against President Yoweri Museveni.
Nsamba was arrested after he made a post expressing how he will announce and mourn the death of President Yoweri Museveni when he dies. The post was accompanied by a Photoshop of Museveni and how he will look after his demise.
He was granted non-cash bail of 50 million shillings and each surety bonded 50 million Shillings.
Nsamba’s case has never been disposed off to date and is supposed to appear before the Magistrate Court every month.