Kampala — The General Court Martial has, on Tuesday, May 25, granted bail to 17 National Unity Platform supporters who were arrested in Kalangala in January 2021.
The army court – sitting at Makindye, however, set tough conditions, including ordering them not to go beyond the precincts of Wakiso and Kampala without Court Martial permission.
Eighteen others have been again remanded to Kitalya until June 8 when they will return to court to establish if they can be released on bail.
National Unity Platform party leader, Robert Kyagulanyi welcomed his supporters who have secured temporary ‘freedom’ from detention.
“We shall continue to demand the release of hundreds of others who are still detained at Kitalya and all other prisons across the country,” Kyagulanyi wrote.
He added: “I am very grateful to our legal team and all comrades who are doing everything possible to see that all of them are eventually free.”
NUP Secretary General, Lewis Lubongoya sai: “On one hand, we are very glad to reunite with 17 of our comrades who have been incarcerated at Kitalya for close to 5 months. On the other hand, we are sad that the system has yet again chosen not to release 18 comrades, plus the many others who are still there”.
“What made my day is to see that those who are now partially free and those who are still detained all know that they are suffering not because they committed any offence, but because they believe that change is possible in Uganda”.
“May we continue doing everything within our power to see that we don’t only get freedom for our people, but for our country as well”.
This group is part of the 49 people arrested from Kalangala district on December 30 2020, soon after landing on the islands to campaign for the NUP Presidential Candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
They were accordingly taken to Masaka Magistrates Court on January 4 2021 where they were charged with inciting violence and later granted bail.
But they didn’t leave prisons after the Uganda Prisons Services said that they had received a production warrant to take them to the Makindye based General Court Martial.
On January 8 2021, the group comprising men and women 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 presided over by Lt Gen. Andrew Gutti denied them bail and instead released 13 of their co accused.
Gutti said that he was denying them bail on grounds that an Investigating Officer Assistant Inspector of Police Peter Wetaaka had opposed to their bail application and argued that if they are released, the acts of violence are most likely to continue.