Moments after the release of 17 National Unity Platform-NUP party supporters, who are battling charges of illegal possession of ammunition, the party president Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine says they will take legal action to seek justice for their members.
The UPDF General Court Martial sitting in Makindye released the 17 NUP supporters on bail on Monday morning. The group which has been on remand for close to six months was released by Lt General Andrew Gutti after the army prosecutors led by Captain Ambroz Guma told the court that they had not filed an affidavit in reply to their bail application.
The suspects include Ali Bukeni alias Nubian Li, Edward Ssebuufu alias Eddie Mutwe, Hassan Ssemakula alias Abdul Soldier, Kenny Kyalimpa, Lukeman Mwijukye alias Kampala, Daniel Onywerot alias Dan Magic, Robert Kivumbi alias Mighty Family, Ibrahim Tamale and Muzafuru Mwanje alias Main Gate.
The others are Achileo Kivumbi, Joseph Onzima alias Tawa, Anthony Agaba alias Bobi Young, Brian Ssemanda alias Dictator Museveni Must Go, Richard Kalema alias Ricardo, Geoffrey Mutalya, Alex Karamagi alias Doggy City, Isma Muganga alias Jaja Isma and Baker Kalyango. These were part of 49 people arrested from Kalangala district during the campaign trail of then-NUP presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu
Welcoming the release of their members at the NUP headquarters in Kamwokya on Monday afternoon, Kyagulanyi who was joined by the party General Secretary David Lewis Lubongoya and spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi said that they will explore avenues how their comrades can attain justice after being arrested on baseless crimes.
He explained that the suspects were beaten, humiliated and thrown in Kitalya prison where they have been languishing in jail without any crime.
Kyagulanyi says that the government has been forced to release his colleagues because of pressure from concerned Ugandans and their families. He however noted that many of their colleagues are still locked up.
Eddie Mutwe and Nubian Lee said Kitalya prison was like hell to them due to the bad condition under which inmates are treated. “You sleep like a dog, there is no water, no medication, most of the time our people were being denied access. But we thank God we’re out because we had no case,” said Eddie Mutwe and Nubian Lee.
Eddie Mutwe said that they have left hundreds of Ugandans in the prison cells who were jailed because of political reasons, adding that most of those remanded by the court-martial to Kitalya don’t know when they will return to court.
Nubian Lee narrates the poor conditions and overcrowding in Kitalya, which exposes inmates to COVID-19.
Prior to their appearance in the General Court Martial, the accused persons appeared before Masaka Magistrates Court on charges of inciting violence and doing an act that is likely to spread an infectious disease. But the charges have since been dismissed.