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Tumukunde appears in court, charged with treason

Tumukunde (left) soon after he arrived in court at City Hall today. PHOTO ANDREW MWENDA

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Lt.Gen Henry Tumukunde has been charged with treason and unlawful possession of firearms at City Hall court. He has been remanded to Luzira Prison until March 23.

The treason charges stem from his statement in an interview on NBS TV, where he said that ,”If I was Rwanda, I would support people who wish to foster change in Uganda.”

Prosecution says the statement is a call on Rwanda to invade Uganda and cause an unlawful change of government

Prosecution also alleged that Tumukunde was in possession of a Star pistol and Ak47 rifle without a license to have both at his private property in Kololo where he was arrested.

Fifteen other people, including Annette Nyaketcho, the Tororo North MP, were charged in the Nakawa court for obstructing police while gathering evidence at Lt Gen Tumukunde’s premises in Kololo.

Earlier, the Nakawa Chief Magistrates Court directed the lawyers representing Lt General Tumukunde and 13 others to use the court process servers to deliver an application to security agencies.

A court process server delivers and serves legal documents such as summons to parties to a case.

On Wednesday, the court presided over by the Chief Magistrate Ruth Nabaasa ruled to an application seeking for the unconditional release of Tumukunde and 13 others saying that there is no proof of details to show that the lawyers fully served the copy of the application to  Police.

She noted that although the lawyers Anthony Wameli and Geoffrey Turyamusiima allege that when they went to Jinja Road Police Stations the OC Tayebwa told them to go to Naguru Headquarters where there’s the Legal Directorate, they do not provide full details of Tayebwa’s name and rank among others.

Court also heard that although the lawyers said that while at Naguru they were told to go to Attorney General’s chambers, there’s no proof to this effect.

Nabaasa directed that the lawyers use the Court Server to effect Service and further hearing will be on Friday this week. There was no representative from any of the people that had been listed as respondents. They include the Attorney General, OC Kira and Jinja Road Police Stations, Commandant Special Investigations Directorate Kireka and Director CIID.

The decision today arises from an application filed on Tuesday by Lt General Tumukunde’s lawyers who noted that the Former Security Minister and 13 others have been held in illegal detention facilities controlled by the state and their continued incarceration infringes on their rights to liberty.

Turyamusiima told the court that the applicants at about 7 pm on Thursday last week along Impala Avenue in Kampala were surrounded by Police officers and other security Operatives before being arrested and taken to CID in Kibuli.

He noted that while in Kibuli, his clients recorded a charge and caution statement and were later taken to Special Investigations Directorate in Kireka.

Court also heard that with exception of Tumukunde, the rest were first arrested from his offices from Thursday up to Friday 2 pm and then later transferred to Kireka and some were taken to Kira Road Police Stations.

The lawyers thus asked the court to compel government and its security agencies to unconditionally release them since their constitutional rights have been violated.

Speaking to journalists after the court, Lawyer Turyamusiima has said the ruling is not fair in any way since also the Magistrate reportedly knows that Police Officers in Charge of Stations normally refuse to acknowledge receipt of court documents adding that this was a clear example of the same.



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