Tumukunde case flops over absence of magistrate

Monday March 30 2020

Detained presidential hopeful Lt Gen (rtd)

Detained presidential hopeful Lt Gen (rtd) Henry Tumukunde has appeared at Buganda Road Court via video conferencing. Photo by Ruth Anderah 

By Ruth Anderah and Juliet Kigongo

The hearing of a case in which presidential hopeful Lt Gen (Rtd) Gen.Henry Tumukunde is accused of illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions has been deferred over absence of the trial magistrate.

The trial of the former security minister currently remanded to Luzira Prison, was scheduled to begin today (March 30) but was adjourned because the trial magistrate, Valerian Tuhimbise was not on duty after the Chief Justice suspended court hearings and appearance before he directed some court staff to stay home in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Gen Tumukunde faces four counts including unlawful possession of firearms and unlawful possession of ammunitions.
Prosecution claims that on March 13, 2020 while at his office at Impala Avenue in Kololo, Gen Tumukunde was found in possession of two guns; an Ak47 and a pistol.
However, Gen Tumukunde denied the charges.
Tumukunde was also charged with unlawful possession of 34 rounds of ammunition without a valid firearm license.

State Prosecutor Patricia Cingtho told Buganda Road Court chief magistrate, Ms Miriam Akello Ayo on Monday that police are still investigating the case.

Gen Tumukunde did not attend court physically. Court proceedings were held through video conferencing.

The Chief Magistrate said Gen Tumukunde, who recently declared his interests to stand for presidency, was further remanded to Luzira prison until April 14, 2020 when the High Court judge would deliver a ruling on his bail application.

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Gen Tumukunde was also charged with one count of treason. Prosecution claims that on March 5, 2020 while appearing on a local television station in Kampala, Gen Tumukunde made utterances which were calculated to instigate the Republic of Rwanda to invade Uganda and cause unlawful change of government.
Gen Tumukunde has never taken plea the in the treason case because the offence is capital in nature.

Gen Tumukunde’s lawyer, Mr Alex Luganda, told journalists outside court that his client had not been allowed to see his private doctor ever since he was remanded.

"Although court ordered that Gen Tumukunde should access his private doctor, this has not happened and we do not know why. The reasons are best known by the authority," Mr Luganda said.

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