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Prosecution Fails to Present Witnesses in Masaka NUP Leaders' Case

The Masaka Grade One Magistrate Author Zirabamuzale was forced to adjourn the case to February next year after the state prosecutor Jacob Nahurira told the court that the witnesses had not appeared in court.
The hearing of a case in which National Unity platform (NUP) leaders in Masaka are accused of inciting violence did not take off after the prosecution failed to present witnesses.

Florence Namayanja and Dr Abed Bwanikaleaders were arrested last month during protests that followed the arrest of Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, the National Unity Platform- NUP presidential candidate.

They were arrested alongside Evan Kanyike, the Bukoto East NUP parliamentary candidate and Juliet Kakande Nakabuye, Masaka Woman parliamentary candidate. They were charged with inciting violence and doing an act likely to spread infectious diseases, under section 171 of the Penal Code Act.

The Masaka Grade One Magistrate Author Zirabamuzale was on Friday forced to adjourn the case to February after the state prosecutor Jacob Nahurira told the court that the witnesses had not appeared in court.  

According to prosecution, the NUP leaders flouted the covid-19 guidelines when they engaged in protests and processions.

Court heard that state’s witnesses including the Masaka Regional Police commander Enock Abaine, Sgt Godfrey Juma the head of the police political desk and detective innocent Musinguzi could not be in court because they were carrying out an operation.

The prosecution asked the court to adjourn the case to enable them to issue summons to the witnesses.   Zirabamuzale agreed and adjourned the case to 23 February 2021.

The bail for the leaders was also extended to February when they are expected to come back to court for further hearing of the case.  

Magellan Kazibwe, the defence lawyer said that the adjournment is going to enable his clients to prepare for the coming general elections since most of the accused people are contesting for leadership positions.  

Masaka Grade One Magistrate’s court last month granted the NUP leaders a non-cash bail of Three Million Shillings while each of the sureties a non-cash bail of 1 million shillings each.

The other accused persons were also granted a non-cash bail of 600,000 Shillings each after pleading not guilty to the charges of inciting violence and taking part in an illegal procession.