The army prosecutors have asked the General Court Martial to give them one week to respond to a fresh bail application filed by 36 supporters of the National Unity Platform-NUP party.
The supporters who are all facing charges of illegal possession of ammunition on Monday appeared before the court presided over by Lt General Andrew Gutti. They are, Ali Bukeni alias Nubian Li, Edward Ssebuufu alias Eddie Mutwe, Hassan Ssemakula alias Abdul Souldier, Kenny Kyalimpa, Mudde Ntambi, William Nyanzi alias Mbogo, Lukeman Mwijukye alias Kampala, Muhammad Nsubuga alias Eddoboozi, Adam Matovu, Shakirah Nambozo alias Sukie, Ibrahim Tamale, Muzafuru Mwanje alias Main Gate alias Muwa, Ismail Nyanzi Kaddu, Achileo Kivumbi, Joseph Onzima alias Tawa, Anthony Agaba alias Bobi Young and Robert Kivumbi alias Mighty Family.
The others are: Samson Ssekiranda alias Giant, Sharifa Najja alias Don Sharifa , Brian Ssemanda alias Director Museveni Must Go, Robert Katumba, Faisol Kigongo alias Ras Fazo , Musa Mulimira, Sam Mutumba alias Papa Sam , Richard Kalema alias Ricardo, Alex Karamagi alias Doggy City, Daniel Onywerot alias Dan Magic , Hussein Mukasa alias OShea, Johnbosco Sunday alias JB, Isma Muganga alias Jaja Isma, Fahad Tamale and Bashir Murusha.
The group through their lawyers led by Anthony Wameli on Monday applied for bail amidst heavy security deployment of military police soldiers in and outside the court premises. The roads leading to the court were equally heavily manned by armed security personnel.
But Wameli asked the court to grant the applicants bail on grounds that ever since the accused persons were charged in January, to date their trial has never kicked off and there is a likelihood that it may delay yet his clients have been in jail for more than four months.
Court also heard that the applicants have no capacity to disrupt investigations adding that their colleagues who were given bail have been complying with the conditions.
Wameli also said that four of the accused persons are currently sick and undergoing medication that needs immediate attention and cannot be provided when they are in prison.
They later presented seven sureties some of whom attended court while others were denied access by the heavy deployment of military police soldiers outside court.
The sureties included Aisha Kabanda the Deputy Secretary-General for National Unity Platform and the head of the Women League Flavia Kalule Nabagabe who all didn’t access the court.
Others are Mathias Mpuga the Vice President for National Unity Platform-NUP in Buganda Region, the Secretary-General David Lewis Rubongoya, the head of Mobilisation Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu and the head of Training and Patriotism Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro.
After presenting their application, the army prosecutors led by Major Emmy Ekyaruhanga asked to be given a week to make a response to the application.
Ekyaruhanga added that the officer who was supposed to swear an affidavit responding to the application was away in Gulu on other state duties and will return in a week.
Lt General Andrew Gutti adjourned the case up to May 25 2021 to allow the prosecution to respond to the matter.
The group that has reapplied for bail is part of the 49 people arrested from Kalangala district on December 30 2021 during the campaigns of former NUP Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
They were taken to Masaka Magistrates Court on January 4 2021 and charged with inciting violence and later granted bail. However, these Masaka charges were last week dismissed by the court.
But the accused didn’t leave the prisons after the Uganda Prisons Services said that they had received a production warrant to take them to Makindye based General Court Martial.
On January 8 2021, the group was charged with illegal possession of ammunition namely four bullets before being remanded to Kitalya and Kigo government’s prison.
Days later, they applied for bail but on February 15 2021, the Court Martial Chairperson Gutti denied them bail and instead released 13 of their co-accused.
Gutti argued that if the rest are released, the acts of violence are most likely to continue.
But on March 1st 2021, the group filed a third application for bail before the High Court Criminal Division and their application was never entertained on grounds that a court trying someone is well placed to handle a bail application since it’s well conversant with the facts of the case.