Army court to rule on bail of jailed 31 NUP supporters

Mr George Musisi, one of the lawyers of NUP members (standing) during his submission at the General Court Martial in Makindye, Kampala, on September 27, 2022. PHOTO | ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • Court documents indicate that on January 8, 2021 when the accused were set to be returned to Masaka court to fulfill their bail conditions and be officially released, they were instead driven to Kampala and detained at Makindye military barracks.

The military court has set October 11 to rule on whether or not to release on bail 31 supporters of the Opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) who were arrested following last year’s presidential elections.

The group was arrested in Kalangala District while on the campaign trail of then presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine.

They face charges of being in unlawful possession of ammunition contrary to Section 3 (1) and (2) of the Firearms Act.

Prosecution led by Lt Gift Mubehamwe yesterday asked court presided over by Brig Gen Robert Freeman Mugabe to dismiss the bail application on grounds that the sureties presented were not substantial as they could not ably identify themselves.

“The sureties presented by the accused people are not substantial and their release will interfere with the investigations and they have no fixed places of abode within the jurisdiction of court,” Lt Mubehamwe told court. 

“The trial in this case already started with the testimony from the arresting officer Capt Alex Tyaba attached to the Crime Intelligence of Police. We shall make sure that we expedite the presentation of our witnesses,”  he added.

Some of the grounds that the group had raised through their lawyer, Mr George Musisi, for consideration for their release include constitutional right to apply for bail, ready to abide by the release terms, and have substantial sureties.  They also promised not to interfere with the state investigations and witnesses, if any, and that they have permanent places of abode within the jurisdiction of the court.

Court documents indicate that on January 8, 2021 when the accused were set to be returned to Masaka court to fulfill their bail conditions and be officially released, they were instead driven to Kampala and detained at Makindye military barracks.

They were later charged before the nearby General Court Martial with being in unlawful possession of ammunition and remanded to various prisons.

It is upon this background that the group seeks to be released on bail pending trial.

The prosecution alleges that between November 2020 and May 12, 2021, in diverse areas of Jinja, Mbale, Kireka, Nakulabye, Kawempe, Nateete and Kampala Central, the accused were in possession of 13 pieces of explosive devices which are ordinarily a monopoly of the defence forces.

The suspects

The suspects are Davis Mafabi, Abdallah Gibusiwa, Livingstone Katushabe, Swaibu Katabi, Siraji Mudebo, Joseph Muganza, Stanley Lwanga, Rashid Ssegujja, alias chairman, Yasin Ssekioleko, alias Machete, Mesach Kiwanuka, Abudalla Kintu, Umar Emma Kato, Musa Kavuma, Ibrahim Wandera, Albert Nagwere, Steven Musakulu, and Jimmy Galukande. 



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