12 Bobi Wine supporters remanded to prison over ‘wedding-turned political rally’ 

Some of the National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters in the dock at Jinja Magistrate's Court where they were charged with organizing an illegal assembly on January 24, 2024. PHOTOS/ COURTESY 

What you need to know:

  • Mr Buken said the absence of the state attorney in court was a clear indication that the charges against the NUP supporters are trumped.

At least 12 supporters of the Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) have been remanded to prison after they were on Tuesday charged with organising what police termed as an illegal assembly in Jinja City.
The suspects who include: Mr Ramadan Kakaire, Mr Frank Opio, Mr Brian Edema, Mr Grace Ndizibwa, Ms Joan Nakiberu, Mr Frank Iga, Mr Hussein Kato, Mr Ben Kabaka, Mr Julius Nyerere, Ms Gloria Namawejje, Ms Namuli and Mr Abdu Tenywa were arrested on Sunday in Jinja City where police fired bullets and teargas to break up their gathering.

Some of the National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters in the dock at Jinja Magistrate's Court where they were charged with organizing an illegal assembly on January 24, 2024. PHOTOS/ COURTESY 

They on Tuesday appeared before Jinja Grade One Magistrate, Sumaya Kasule who remanded them to Kirinya Prisons until February 6 when they will reappear in Court.
NUP Secretary General, Mr David Lewis Rubongoya, singer Ali Buken also known as Nubian Li, and Mr Andrew Kiiza Kaluya, former Kigulu South MP were in attendance to witness court proceedings.
It is alleged that the accused held an unlawful assembly at YMCA Training Centre in Jinja City on Sunday, after which over 20 of them suffered suspected rubber and gunshots wounds.
Earlier, Mr James Mubi, the Kiira Region Police Spokesperson, said the suspects were mainly from Iganga, Kampala and Busia among other destinations.

Some of the National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters in the dock at Jinja Magistrate's Court where they were charged with organizing an illegal assembly on January 24, 2024. PHOTOS/ COURTESY 

According to Mr Mubi, while requesting for a venue, the organisers said they had a wedding reception which later turned out to be an unlawful political gathering.
After the court proceedings, Mr Rubongoya said the charges show that no Ugandan is allowed to enjoy their liberties in the country.
"You all saw the violence that was meted out on them (on Sunday), with majority of them still in hospital. You have all seen how 60-year-old Tata Bobi was pepper sprayed.
"However, that is all aimed at intimidating the population, but we shall not relent and I appeal to all peace-loving Ugandans to remain strong," Mr Rubongoya said.

Mr Buken said the absence of the state attorney in court was a clear indication that the charges against the NUP supporters are trumped.
He said: "These courts have become stooges and it's a pity the magistrate's hands are tied. She is also captive like us; so it's our role to fight for our freedom and hers because she is also a prisoner."
Mr Kaluya, who attended the botched Sunday function, said they were expecting about 500 youth but by the time they were dispersed, about 200 had arrived.

He accused police of double standards, saying on the day their “peaceful gathering” was dispersed, the First Son, a serving military officer and presidential advisor special operations, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba was holding processions in and addressing political rallies in Kapchorwa and Mbale City, but he wasn't arrested.
“Instead, those who were seated in in an enclosed environment, sealed off with barbed wire were shot at and arrested,” he said.

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