At least 36 people including leaders and supporters of NUP in Masaka district were arrested on November 18, 2020, shortly after the arrest of their party president and former Presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine while on his campaign trail in Luuka district.
grade one Magistrate Arthur Ziraba has acquitted National Unity Platform-NUP
political party supporters who have been battling charges of inciting violence
and committing acts likely to spread the Coronavirus disease Covid-19.
At least 36 people that including leaders and
supporters of NUP in Masaka district were arrested on November 18, 2020, shortly
after the arrest of their party president and former Presidential candidate,
Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine while on his campaign trail in Luuka
The suspects included among others Florence
Namayanja, the Bukoto East constituency MP, Dr. Abed Bwanika, and Juliet
Kakande, the MPs elect Kimanya-Kabonera division and Masaka district
respectively. They were arrested on suspicion of masterminding the protests in Masaka
that followed the arrest Kyagulanyi.
According to the prosecution, the suspects were
arrested in police operations after they were found in breach of the Covid-19
preventive guidelines and coordinating protests in the area. However,
after repeated adjournments due to the prosecution’s failure to adduce the required
evidence against the suspects the trial magistrate decided to dismiss the case.
the court proceedings, Senior State Attorney, Caroline Opio told court that she
had a list of witnesses that included the Masaka Regional Police commander,
Enock Abaine, Sergeant Godfrey Juma, the head of the police political desk and
detective innocent Musinguzi. She, however, failed to produce any of them before
court whenever needed.
his ruling, Ziraba, castigated police for congesting courts with unfounded
cases whose prosecution they cannot support with evidence. The magistrate
indicated that after the court making several adjournments to grant the prosecution
time to present evidence in vain, there was no need to continue with the
in; “all the accused persons….
Cue out; …. when they
Alexander Lule, the lawyer of the accused
persons also blamed the key witnesses for what he described as dumping cases
into court and failing to follow them up. He wondered how police officers
who were recorded on file as key witnesses failed to show up to support
prosecution in a suit they initiated.
//Cue in: “the
Cue out; …. prosecute
Some of the suspects indicated their intentions
to pursue the individual police officers for malicious prosecution and
torturing them during the arrest.