Saturday August 23 2014

Youth protesting corruption released on bail


After spending two weeks on remand in Luzira prison, nine youth charged with participating in unlawful protests were yesterday granted a Shs400,000 cash bail each by City Hall Magistrate’s Court.
Grade One Magistrate Moses Nabende also granted a non-cash bond of Shs3 million for each of their two sureties.

The youth are Mr Ferdinand Luutu, Mr Amos Ojok, Mr Oloya Akena, Mr Ambrose Juma, Ms Nasimbwa Nalongo, Mr Augustine Ojobilo, Mr Joram Mwesigye, Mr Robert Mayanja and Mr Norman Tumuhimbise.
Through their lawyer, Mr Isaac Ssemakadde, the youths pleaded with court to grant them a non-cash bail as they are jobless, but in vain.
“Your worship, two of the suspects, were earlier granted bail on similar charges and terms, but have never broken any condition. There is no sound reason as to why the State prosecutor, Ms Joyce Onyango, should object to the suspects bail,” Mr Ssemakadde said.

“The allegations that my clients will frustrate the investigations are baseless. My clients have no previous criminal record and bail should not be denied on mere allegations,” he added.

The charges
They are facing one count of participating in unlawful assembly on Kampala streets.
Prosecution alleges that on August 4, on Speke Road in Kampala, the suspects with an intention of causing disturbance in Kampala participated in unlawful assembly by moving around with a coffin.
Police records show the suspects were arrested earlier this month after they were found carrying banners with the words, ‘We are mourning for our country over corruption, unemployment, youth desertion. Do not lead us into temptations’.

Rampant youth protests
This is the second time in less than two months that youths are arrested protesting over what they call resentment towards “rampant corruption” exhibited in Parliament and the worrying youth unemployment in the country.

In June, a similar incident happened at Parliament when two youth, Mr Robert Mayanja and Mr Norman Tumuhimbise, sneaked two piglets into Parliament. The duo has since been charged with three counts which included; interrupting Parliament activities, criminal trespass and conspiracy to commit the offences which charges they denied.