Court to Decide on Mumbere's Bail Hearing

1549 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
On Monday this week, Mumberes bail application failed to take off after prosecution led by Rachael Bikhole, the principal state attorney from the Directorate of Public Prosecution objected to hearing

Justice Eva Luswata is set to deliver her ruling on whether or not to hear the bail application of Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere. On Monday, Rachael Bikhole, the Principal State Attorney from the Directorate of Public Prosecution-DPP raised preliminary objection to the bail application hearing.

In her submission, Bikhole argued that since Mumbere is also facing terrorism, his bail application should be heard by the International Crimes Division of the High Court that has the jurisdiction over terrorism matters. She argued that the rules of International Crimes Division of the High Court demand that cases such as terrorism, genocide, crimes against humanity and bail application are heard before that same court.
Bikhole also noted that even bail applications in terrorism cases should be heard by a judge or a panel of Justices in the International Crimes Division or any judge designated by the principal judge. Mumbere's lawyer, Caleb Alaka said high court has jurisdiction to hear the bail application since the case hasn't kicked off in the  International Crimes Division of the High Court. 

After listening to submissions from both parties, Justice Eva Luswata  set today as the date for ruling on whether or not hear the bail application. Mumbere was dragged to court together with his prime minister and 161 royal guards for their role in the Rwenzori clashes in November this year, which claimed the lives of more than 100 people.

They were charged with 41 counts including terrorism, murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery and malicious damage to property. The Jinja Chief Magistrate's court is expected to convene later today to commit the suspects to high court for trial. On December 28th, Prosecution told court presided over by the Jinja Chief Magistrate, John Francis Kaggwa that the state was still carrying out investigations and gathering more evidence against the suspects.

Prosecution alleges that Mumbere and his co-accused persons, between March and November 2016, at diverse places within Kabarole and Kasese districts, arranged a plot to overturn the government of Uganda by use of arms. The new charge-sheet indicates that the accused persons expressed the plot through attacks on various police establishments, killing of police officers, robbing arms and ammunition and recruitment of individuals to join in an armed insurrection against government.

They are also accused of providing and participating in military training of recruits in preparation of an armed insurrection to overthrow the government of Uganda, acquisition of  communication equipment such as walk-talkies and  attending meetings within Uganda and abroad in an attempt to acquire arms and ammunition. By the time of filing this story, the royal guards had already arrived at the Magistrate's Court.


About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).