Reverend remanded over prayers for unfulfilled Museveni pledges
What you need to know:
- Police arrested the cleric and his followers on Wednesday on allegations of holding unlawful assembly.
- The unfulfilled pledges include construction of Kijura road, construction of Kabarole Agro-Industrial Park at Kyembogo commissioned under Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme in 2018, reconstruction of Buhinga Stadium as well as construction of Saaka and Kazingo security roads.
Former Fort Portal City Mayor, Rev Willy Kintu Muhanga and five others will spend Easter in Katojo government prison where they were remanded on Friday following their arrest for organizing a meeting to pray over President Museveni’s unfulfilled pledges for Tooro Sub-region.
Police arrested the cleric and his followers on Wednesday on allegations of participating in unlawful assembly.
The other suspects include David Musinguzi, Patrick Amanyire Kasoro, John Chris Tusiime, Henry Kyomuhendo Atom and Thomas Kakuru.
A grade one magistrate, Annet Namakati, who presided over the court proceedings in Fort Portal City on Friday denied the cleric and his co-accused bail, saying their bail application would be heard by another magistrate who was allocated their case file. Ms Namakati was reportedly sitting in for another magistrate who was absent.
This was after the state prosecutor Robert Arinaitwe told court that he needed more time to study the bail application for the accused.
The defence lawyer, Robert Mugabe had earlier presented sureties of all the six accused persons before court for bail.
Ms Namakati said the suspects would be returned to court on April 11, 2023 when the trial magistrate who was allocated the case file will make her ruling on the bail application.
The six were arrested Wednesday on their way back from Kyembogo in Busoro Sub County where they had gone to conduct prayers for government’s unfulfilled pledges.
They were released on police bond and asked to report to Busoro police station in Kabarole District on Friday morning.
Moments after arriving at the station, they were rearrested, taken to court and charged formally.
“When we reached at police they told us to give them our police bond and shortly after we were taken to court cells,” Mr Kyomuhendo said from the court holding cells before they were presented before the magistrate.
From Fort Portal court holding cells, Rev Muhanga said: “We want president Museveni to fulfill the pledges he made to us. It is my constitution right, and we know God is above everyone, including Museveni. This is just the beginning.”
The suspects were charged amid heavy deployment of riot police after relatives and friends of the accused thronged court premises.
The unfulfilled pledges include construction of Kijura road, construction of Kabarole Agro-Industrial Park at Kyembogo commissioned under Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme in 2018, reconstruction of Buhinga Stadium as well as construction of Saaka and Kazingo security roads.
In 2012, Mr Museveni who has been in power since 1986 when he shot his way to State House through a guerrilla warfare, also pledged to tarmac the 30km Fort Portal-Kijura Road.
In 2013, Mr Museveni reiterated the promise while meeting district leaders from the Rwenzori Sub- region at his country home in Rwakitura.
In 2021, the same road appeared in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party manifesto but until March 30, the road has only been under maintenance by Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra). When it rains, it becomes impassable.
The industrial park was supposed to be constructed on 100 acres of land, a few meters away from Rwebitaba Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (ZARDI) headquarters.
However, construction works stalled due to a land dispute between Kabarole District local government and the land occupants, Rwebitaba ZARDI.
The park was to be implemented under the agro-led programme for the Rwenzori region, proposed to achieve value addition on agricultural products.