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Court grants Besigye, Mukaaku bail

Besigye, Mukaaku appear in court. Photo via @FDCOfficial1

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court has granted bail to Dr. Kizza Besigye and Samuel Lubega Mukaaku.

Mukaaku and Besigye were granted bail on Friday by Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate Dr. Douglas Singiza. They were asked to pay 2.5 Million Shillings each cash and each of their two sureties have been asked to execute a non-cash bond of 500,000 shillings.

Besigye presented Kitgum Municipality Member of Parliament Denis Onekalit and Kampala Capital City Deputy Lord Mayor Doreen Nyanjura as his sureties while Mukaaku presented the Forum for Democratic Change Party Deputy Secretary-General Harlod Kaija and former Rukungiri Municipality Member of Parliament Roland Mugume.

Their lawyer Samuel Muyizzi Mulindwa asked the court to grant his clients bail on grounds that they are still presumed innocent until proven to be guilty. He also told court that his clients have been on remand for more than two weeks and if the court is pleased to grant them bail, they should be released on non-cash bail because they have spent long without having any source of income.

State Attorney Ivan Kyazze didn’t object to bail but asked for stringent terms to be imposed on the two and to direct them to pay a cash bail such that they don’t abscond from trial.

Singiza ruled that Besigye and Mukaaku had presented substantial sureties and that he is convinced that none of the accused persons will run out of the country if granted bail. He however added that although Besigye and Mukaaku’s lawyers had asked to release their clients on non-cash bail, he couldn’t go contrary to the High Court guidelines.

The case was adjourned to July 29, 2022 for mention before the Magistrate Asuman Muhumuza.

On June 15, Besigye and Lubega Mukaaku were arraigned before the Buganda Road Magistrates Court and charged with inciting violence and remanded to Luzira prison. The charges stemmed from a protest held along Nakivubo lane in Shauriyako parish in Kampala city against the skyrocketing prices of commodities in the country.

They were however two days later returned to court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Asuman Muhumuza and applied for bail which was denied.

On Thursday, they appeared before the High Court Judge Tadeo Asiimwe who also dismissed their application with advice that they should go back to the Chief Magistrate court. Tadeo argued that  Mukaaku and Besigye had not followed the hierarchy of the administration of Courts by skipping the Chief Magistrates Court and going to the High Court.

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