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The General Court Martial in Makindye has denied bail to 36 supporters of National Unity Platform who are facing charges of illegal possession of ammunition.

A seven-member panel led by Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti denied bail to the group on grounds that they were involved in acts of violence when they were being arrested and such actions are most likely to continue if granted bail.

As such, the military court dismissed their application for bail and directed the military prosecutors to expedite investigations such that hearing can commence. Court relied on an affidavit that was filed by the prosecution led by Maj. Emmy Ekyaruhanga and Capt. Ambroze Guma opposing the bail application.

The prosecutors adduced an affidavit sworn by detective assistant inspector of police Peter Wetaaka who is attached to Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Kibuli. Wetaaka said that by the time the applicants were arrested, they were inciting violent protests and were of violent conduct towards police officers who arrested them from Kalangala district.

Wetaaka further argued that the applicants who are part of a group of 49 were most likely to continue the same behaviours and should not be granted bail

Those denied bail include NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi’s best friend; Ali Bukeni Alias Nubian Li, Kyagulanyi’s personal bodyguard Edward Ssebufu alias Eddie Mutwe. Others are Hassan Ssemakula alias Abdul Soldier, Kenny Kyalimpa, Mudde Ntambi, William Nyanzi alias Mbogo, Lukeman Mwijukye alias Kampala, Muhammad Nsubuga alias Edobozi, Adam Matovu, Shakirah Nambozo alias Sukie, Ibrahim Tamale, Muzafuru Mwanje alias Main Gate alias Muwa, Ismail Nyanzi Kaddu.

Others are; Achileo Kivumbi, Joseph Onzima alias Tawa, Anthony Agaba alias Bobi Young, Robert Kivumbi alias Mighty Family, 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, John Bosco Sunday alias JB, Isma Muganga alias Jaja Isma, Fahad Tamale and Bashir Murusha.

The relatives of the said persons through their lawyers led by George Musisi have described the action of denying their people bail as disgraceful. Musisi said that when you deny someone bail under the law, you are supposed to give specific reasons which are not based on fantasy and speculations.

Accordingly, Musisi has revealed that they are not going to return to the Court Martial to reapply for bail. Instead, he says, they will be petitioning the High court which has the jurisdictions to try civilians.

“We have got the ruling where the court has denied bail, saying the acts of violence are likely to continue. Under the laws, when someone declines to grant bail, they are obliged to give reasons. Those reasons need not to be speculative, need not to be fantasy or conjecture like court has done this afternoon. Under the premises, of course, we’re dissatisfied with the ruling, we don’t agree with the ruling and we’re going to apply for bail before the High court of Uganda,” said Musisi.

The 36 supporters, who, have been sent back on remand until an unknown date were part of a group of 49 supporters arrested during Kyagulanyi’s campaigns in Kalangala in December 2020.

They were later charged with illegal possession of ammunition. Their lawyers applied for bail for the entire group on grounds that some of them had been tortured while under custody, and some were sole breadwinners at their respective homes.

The defense lawyers also argued that the accused were still innocent until proven guilty, adding that the charges against them are bailable. Following Wetaaka’s affidavit, the court released 13 of the 49 supporters last week.

This was on grounds that Wetaaka hadn’t objected to their bail application and the court chose to keep the 36 on remand in Kitalya and Kigo government’s Prisons until today to pronounce a ruling on their application.

The prosecution alleges that the accused persons and others still at large, on January 3, 2021, were found while at Makerere Kavule, Kigundu Zone Kawempe Division, in illegal possession of four rounds of ammunition of an AK-47 gun and the said ammunition was a monopoly of the defence forces.

Meanwhile, some of the relatives and friends of the accused persons who hadn’t been granted access to court premises became chaotic after receiving news that their people had been denied bail.

They started protesting the court decision and Military Police soldiers started beating them terribly with some having nowhere to run to, having been cordoned off in the corridors of buildings.