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Former flying squad boss Muhangi released on bail

FILE PHOTO: Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti releases Muhangi on bail.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Herbert Muhangi, the former commandant of the Police Flying Squad unit is out on bail. He was released this morning by the General Court Martial Chairman, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gutti. He executed a non-cash bond of Shillings 10 million while each of his sureties executed non-cash bond of Shillings 5 million.

They included Assistant Commissioners of Police, Elvis Byamugisha, the Head of Research in Uganda Police Force, Emmanuel Muheirwe, the head of Human Resource and Robert Kakuru, a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Makerere University.

As a part of his bail conditions, Lt. Gen. Gutti ordered Muhangi to remain in Kampala and Wakiso Districts. He also directed him to report to the General court martial twice each month. Muhangi smiled after hearing the ruling in his favor. Muhangi applied for bail through his lawyer, Captain Charles Ssekayita in January 2019 on grounds of ill health, saying he needs to get out of military custody to seek medication for ulcers, which he has been battling since 2007.

He presented medical documents from the Military Police Health Center three showing that his kind of ulcers cannot be treated at the facility. Muhangi also argued that he had spent 209 days without appearing in court, which violates his constitutional right. His lawyer, Ssekayita argued that since Muhangi’s co-accused General Kale Kayihura was released on bail there is precedent and that he should also be allowed to gain freedom temporarily.

During the hearing of the bail application, Major Wilson Nuwagaba, an Operative from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence asked court to deny Muhangi bail, arguing that there is a likelihood that he will tamper with investigations, which are still ongoing. In his affidavit, Nuwagaba, who is investigating the charges against Muhangi, said the suspect faces a serious offense of aiding and abetting kidnaps, which involves use of personal violence.

Muhangi is jointly charged together with the former Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura and six senior police officers for failure to protect war materials and aiding and abetting kidnaps in Uganda. The others are; Col Atwooki Ndahura, Nixon Agasirwe, Richard Ndaboine, Patrick Muramira, Jonas Ayebaza and Kitagenda Abel Muyomba.

Prosecution alleges that between 2012 and 2016, the accused by Omission and Commission aided and abetted kidnaps, which resulted into repatriation of Rwandan exiles, refugees and Ugandan Citizens to Rwanda. The victims include Lt Joel Mutabazi, Jackson Karemera alias Ndinga and Sergeant, Innocent Kalisa.

It is also alleged that between 2010 and 2018 the group allowed the use of fire arms to unauthorized persons specifically the members of Boda Boda 2010 led by Abdullah Kitatta. Muhangi who was arrested in June 2018 has since denied the charges. He becomes the third person to be released after Kayihura and Colonel Ndahura.

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