Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lwemiyaga county Member of Parliament Theodore Ssekikubo has been granted bail. Ssekikubo has been in custody since Friday last week on offences of inciting violence and illegal possession of a gun.
Masaka Chief Magistrate Deogratius Ssejjemba released Ssekikubo on a noncash bail of 10 million shillings. His five sureties were also executed on a non-cash bond of 25 million each Shillings. The sureties included MPs Barnabas Tinkansimire, Anifa Kawooya, Mary Kabanda, Florence Namayanja and Lwemiyaga sub-county councillor Johnstone Kamugisha.
Ssekikubo is battling fresh charges of illegal possession of a gun, obstruction of police officers on duty, destruction and damage of National Resistance Movement-NRM party election materials and inciting violence. The offences were allegedly committed in August 2010, during the Sembabule district NRM party primaries.
The MP pleaded not guilty to all charges. Through his lawyers led by Medard Lubega Ssegona, Sekikubo applied for bail on Monday arguing that despite being a public figure and with known places of abode, he has never failed to appear before any court, whenever summoned.
The defence also contended that their client had been arrested on totally different charges of inciting farmers in Lwemiyaga county to defy a cattle quarantine, but they were surprised the prosecution presented totally different charges against him.
Ssegona told the court that the charges were presented before the courts and dismissed in 2010, over lack of evidence, arguing that they could not stand without proper reinstatement procedures by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Amina Akasa, the Assistant District State Attorney unsuccessfully challenged the bail application. She told the court that the accused person does not respect court processes and order, but failed to adduce evidence that he has ever defied any court summons in the matters before court.
In his ruling, the magistrate observed that Ssekikubo had produced substantial witnesses to the satisfaction of the court thereby warranting his release on bail.
The court has asked him to report back on February 18, for the hearing of the case. Court also issued express orders to the police to produce Police Constable John Alex Mugabi, Ssekikubo’s co-accused who is wanted on charges of attempted murder.
Shortly after his release, police battled Ssekikubo’s supporters who had staged outside the court premises bringing work at court to a standstill. Police used teargas to quell the rowdy crowds of Ssekikubo’s supporters who had blocked traffic on Broadway which connects to Masaka town centre via Masaka court premises.
Meanwhile, Ssekikubo described his arrest as another attempt by the state to frustrate his efforts and actions to defend his constituents whose rights are being abused by high profile figures in government.