Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Ten women who were arrested for staging a protest on March 8th, 2023 as the world commemorated International Women’s Day 2023 are out on bail. The Law Development Center Grade One Magistrate, Martin Kirya granted the women cash bail of sh100,000 each while their sureties executed non-cash bond of Sh2 million each.
The suspects are Jacky Birungi, Flavia Ramto Apiyo, Milly Namatovu, Allen Nantume, and Elizabeth Namagembe Nyanzi, all members of the National Unity Platform-NUP. The others are Sylvia Namutyaba, Allen Nakiku, Phiona Nankya, Stella Kyeyune, and Rukia Nabasi Sserunga.
The ten women were charged with incitement of violence contrary to Section 83(1) of the Penal Code Act. According to the charge sheet, it is alleged that on March 8th, 2023 the suspects “without lawful excuse printed words on placards written on “Police Brutality must stop, Rights of a woman are not catered for, Stop unlawful arrests, End Police Violence”.
The suspects’ lead lawyer, Sam Wanda was happy that they have been granted bail and that the terms were favorable to his clients. He says the accused persons have been ordered to return to court on March 29th, 2023.
Jeremiah Keeya Mwanje, another lawyer is particularly pleased with the decision of the magistrate to grant the suspects bail on a reasonable amount of cash. There have been complaints about judicial officers demanding large sums of money as cash bail from suspects who cannot afford it, especially in cases seen to be political.
Keeya says that while bail is given at the discretion of the magistrate or judge, the discretion ought to be exercised fairly and considering legal principles.
The suspects were arrested from Kalerwe zone, Mulago III parish, Kawempe division in Kampala district, and detained at Wandegeya police station. Police believe that the suspects planned the demonstration at the NUP offices in Makerere Kavule, moved one by one, and assembled at Zakaria Plaza before marching up to Kalerwe market.