A section of Ugandans have taken to social media to solicit funds to have Mr Simon Muyanga Lutaaya, a popular NBS TV journalist released from Kirinya prison where he is allegedly detained, following his arrest on Monday afternoon.
Lutaaya is accused of failing to pay costs amounting to Shs 296 million for losing an election petition in court to NRM’s Lubogo Kenneth.
The soft spoken journalist contested for the Bulamogi county Parliamentary seat in the 2016 elections, on the FDC ticket but lost to NRM’ Lubogo. Lutaaya got 16,546 votes while his opponent garnered 19,179 votes.
But Lutaaya would later file a court petititon challenging the results of the election which he subsequently lost.
In the Court of Appeal ruling, Lutaaya was ordered by Justices Richard Butera, Steven Kavuma and Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo on November 22, 2017 to pay Shs 296 million which he has not fully raised yet.
However, his supporters, friends and family have taken to both Twitter and WhatsApp demanding his release as well as collecting money to clear the court costs.
On social media, some called on Mr Lubogo to forgive his “brother” and others castigating court for crippling justice by asking a person seeking justice to instead pay hefty sums of money.
Meanwhile, a steering committee chaired by Hon Asuman Kiyingi has been established by Ugandans on WhatsApp to have Lutaaya immediately releasde but also, champion the drive to collect the money.
Other members on the committee include lawyer Paul Luganda as the Vice chairperson and the Treasurer is Hon Salaam Musumba. Workmate Sam Ibanda Mugabi is the Work representative and Kungu Al-mahadi Adam a journalist with SoftPower News as the media coordinator.