The Ntungamo Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday put off robbery charges against the State Minister for Labour, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana, but set April 12 for the hearing of five other charges including attempted murder, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, malicious damage, common assault, and threatening violence.
Mr Rukutana was arrested on September 5, 2020 for allegedly shooting at a vehicle carrying supporters of Ms Naome Kabasharira’s agents.
Mr Rukutana and Ms Kabasharira were both vying for the National Resistance Movement flag for Rushenyi County parliamentary seat in the party primaries.
Mr Rukutana was later declared flag bearer with 25,310 votes by the chairperson of the NRM electoral commission which Ms Kabasharira , who got 25,290 votes disputed.
One of the occupants of the vehicle was his former political contender Dan Rweiburingi and two others were injured in the process, the vehicle was damaged and items in the vehicle taken away.
On November 3, 2020 Mr Rukutana failed to appear before the same court, but his lawyer Mr Owen Murangira told court that his client was sick.
However, court issued criminal summons for Mr Rukutana.
However, the aggravated robbery charge wasn’t read in court yesterday and no explanation was given.
Mr Rukutana’s lawyers applied for the extension of their client’s bail and release of his passport to enable him travel abroad for treatment.
State Attorney Eunise Mbaine did not object to the demands and court accepted his plea.
In the January 14 parliamentary elections, Mr Rukutana got 19,477 while Ms Kabasharira got 22,152 making her the winner.
Mr Rukutana has since conceded defeat and promised to move on.