By Leilah Bbaale
The General Court Martial has granted bail to the last batch of 17 supporters of the National Unity Platform who have been on remand on charges of illegal possession of ammunition.
Those released this morning include Ali Bukeni alias Nubian Li, Edward Ssebuufu alias Eddie Mutwe, Hassan Ssemakula alias Abdul Souldier, Kenny Kyalimpa, Lukeman Mwijukye alias Kampala, Daniel Onywerot alias Dan Magic, Robert Kivumbi alias Mighty Family, Ibrahim Tamale, and Muzafuru Mwanje alias Main Gate.
The others are Achileo Kivumbi, Joseph Onzima alias Tawa, Anthony Agaba alias Bobi Young, Brian Ssemanda alias Dictator Museveni Must Go, Richard Kalema alias Ricardo, Geoffrey Mutalya, Alex Karamagi alias Doggy City, Isma Muganga alias Jaja Isma and Baker Kalyango. They were part of a group of 49 people that were arrested from Kalangala district during a campaign rally by then-presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
The group which has been on remand for close to six months was released by Lt General Andrew Gutti after the Army Prosecutors led by Captain Ambroz Guma told the court that they had not filed an affidavit in reply to their bail application. Defence Lawyers led by Godfrey Turyamusiima told the court that they served the Prosecution with a copy of their bail application about two months ago, and failure to respond to it was evidence enough that there is no objection for bail.
Accordingly, Lt General Gutti argued that they had spent such a long time on remand and their application for bail had merit. He ordered them to execute a non-cash bail of 20 million Shillings and each of their sureties bonded at 50 million Shillings, not cash.
The sureties included Aisha Kabanda, the Deputy Secretary-General of the National Unity Platform, the head of the Women League Flavia Kalule Nabagabe, Mathias Mpuuga, the Vice President NUP 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.
They were ordered to report twice a month before the Court Registrar and restricted their movements within Kampala and Wakiso Districts. At the pronouncement of their release, many broke down into tears, as they waited for the court processes to join their colleagues who were released earlier.
Prior to their arraignment in the General Court Martial, the 49 accused persons were first charged before the Masaka Magistrates Court on charges of inciting violence and doing an act that is most likely to spread an infectious disease. But the charges have since been dismissed.