Masaka councillor Tony Ssempijja has been granted bail by Masaka Magistrate's Court after spending nearly a week in prison. The bail was granted by Grade 1 Magistrate Doreen Ajuna.
The Kimaanya “B”parish councillor stands accused of participating in a riot, staging unlawful assembly and malicious damage. Ssempijja led several residents in a protest over poor roads in their area last week. The demonstration forced the temporary blockage of the Mbarara-Masaka highway.
Ssempijja was whisked off to Masaka Central Prison shortly after leading the demonstration.
Last week on Thursday court presided over by Grade I magistrate Doreen Ajuna denied the accused bail.
The councillor's application was however granted on Tuesday. Bail was set at 400,000 shillings cash for Ssempijja and 1. 5 million shillings non-cash for each of his two sureties.
There was drama at the court before the bail hearing when Ssempijja's assembled supporters and fellow councillors thought the bail application hearing might be cancelled. It was believed that the magistrate Ajuna might not be around.
Councilors led by Henry Busulwa stormed court after receiving information that the trial judge was not around.
However, Justice Margret Oguli advised councilors to stay calm assuring them that the trial magistrate was around and ready to hear the case before phoning her to kick off the trial.