Minister Rukutana granted bail

Tuesday September 15 2020
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The State Minister for Labour, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana pictured being escorted by prison warders after he was on September 7, 2020. Photo | Elly Katahinga

By Perez Rumanzi
By Elly Katahinga

State Minister for Labour, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana has been granted bail after spending 10 days in prison.

He’s facing charges ranging from attempted murder, assault, malicious damage to property, and threatening violence, following an incident where he allegedly shot and injured a one Mr Rweiburingi in an election-related brawl.

Ntungamo Magistrate’s Court presided over by Ms Sara Mponye Kolya on Tuesday granted a Shs4 million cash bail to Mr Rukutana and bonded each of his four sureties at a non-cash bail of Shs50 million.

The four sureties include; former Minister for Information Rtd Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, Igara East MP Michael Mawanda, Rubaare businessman Hajji Ali Muteeba and Kampala businessman Mr Robert Bob Kabonero.

“Basing on the cases here quoted, the fear by the state that the accused would interfere with investigations can’t override his civil liberties. All the offenses are personal in nature and the complainants are all from one village, the state has been given enough time to investigate. For me the sureties presented are all substantial,” Ms Kolya ruled. 

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Rukutana's family members celebrate his release from Prison on bail. Photo | Perez Rumanzi

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Court also ordered Mr Rukutana deposit his passport in court, and not reach near or interact with the complainants until investigations are complete.

On September 7, Mr Rukutana appeared for the second time in Ntungamo court and applied for bail. However, the presiding Magistrate Ms Kolya could not grant it at the time and instead remanded him to Kitalya Prison in Wakiso District.

“We are now satisfied that he has been granted bail, we appreciate the terms of bail and we shall make sure he appears as per terms of sureties. We shall not appeal against the ruling on bail,” Mr Owen Mukangira, Mr Rukutana’s said after the court ruling. 

Mr Rukutana was arrested on September 5 from his home Ruyonza after allegedly shooting at a vehicle occupied by his opponents. 

One of the occupants of the vehicle his former political contender Mr Daniel Rweiburingi and two others were reportedly injured in the process. Mr Rweiburingi underwent a head and brain surgery following the incident and according to relatives, he is steadily improving. 
 
While he was arrested with his three bodyguards, they remain in prison as for them will appear before institutional disciplinary courts.

Mr Mawanda said the sureties were also content with the bail conditions and shall make sure that Mr Rukutana appears in court every time he is needed there. 

The case was adjourned to November 3, 2020 when Mr Rukutana will reappear in court for further mention of the charges as investigations continue.

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