Grade One Magistrate Arthur Ziraba has denied bail to three accused persons who allegedly gave false information to police on the recent spate of killings in Masaka Sub-region.
The accused include; Francis Kayemba, Peter Ochieng and Vincent Muwonge alias Bbaale who is a crime preventer in the Masaka City.
Prosecution led by Ms Caroline Opia alleges that the trio on August 28, 2021 gave wrong information about the killings to Mr Paul Nkore, the Southern Regional Police Commander- which partly affected Police efforts to swiftly apprehend the killers.
The trio applied for bail claiming that they have illnesses which cannot be treated in prison.
However, Ms Opia blocked their application saying ‘‘the officer in charge of investigations filed an affidavit which asks court not to grant bail to the three accused persons because they will jeopardize the ongoing investigations.’’
She also said there was public outcry that if bail was granted, the accused would attack masses.
On Thursday, Mr Ziraba adjourned the matter to September 28 when the State is expected to produce its witnesses to testify against the accused persons and court will make ruling on the bail application on the same day.
Between July and August over 26 people, mostly elderly persons, were brutally killed by machete-wielding thugs in night attacks.
Murder, terrorism charges
So far, 16 of 70 suspects arrested by joint security team, including two National Unity Platform (NUP) MPs Allan Ssewanyana(Makindye West) and Muhammad Ssegirinya (Kawempe North) have since been produced in Masaka Chief Magistrates Court and charged with murder and attempted murder before being remanded to Masaka Ssaza Prison and Kigo Prison respectively.
The two MPs who have been on remand since September 8 over allegations of killing three people in Masaka City Monday applied for bail- pending hearing of their case but the State on Wednesday preferred fresh charges of terrorism and abetting terrorism against the two MPs and four others .
Prosecution alleges that on August 23 at Ssettaala Village in Masaka City, the MPs and their co-accused persons killed Francis Mugerwa Kiiza aka Nswa, Sulaiman Kakooza and Tadeo Kiyimba .The MPs are also accused of attempting to kill Ronald Ssebyoto, a resident of the same area.
Murder is a capital offence only tried by the High Court and according to the Penal Code Act, the maximum punishment for a murder convict is death by hanging.