Kahonda charged afresh, chief justice intervenes

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Prisons van carrying Kahonda

Hon. Donozio Kahonda, the MP for Ruhinda South, was on Friday charged once more on the same offences and returned to prison.

A political opponent of Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire, Kahonda is already serving a sentence for forgery handed to him by Jinja Chief Magistrate John Francis Kaggwa in June.

The Ruhinda legislator was yesterday picked from a hospital bed in Kirinya Prison Jinja and driven to Luwero Magistrates court where he was promptly charged afresh.

His wife was the only one of his voters in attendance.

He was swiftly remanded in the Kirinya custody until next week when he reappears in the Luwero court.

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Hon. Kahonda was expected to appear in Jinja court on August 16 to apply for bail pending appeal.

Kahonda rejected the date and petitioned the Chief Justice Bart Katureebe seeking his intervention in the matter.

The Chief Justice wrote to the Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine who later wrote to the resident Judge Jinja High Court, Justice Eva Luswata.

“He has applied for bail. Unfortunately, the Judge who should hear the application has taken leave to write judgments and has given a date in August to hear the application,” reads part of Katureebe’s letter quoted by Daily Monitor.

In the letter Katureebe directs that in the interest of Justice, Justice Bamwine identifies another Judge to hear the application as soon as possible saying it was not fair to put off a bail application for two months.

In a July 5 letter from the Chief Justice’s Chambers quoted by Daily Monitor, Katureebe’s personal assistant, Aloysius Natwijuka, wrote to the Ruhinda Constituency petitioners.

“We refer to your petition to the Chief Justice regarding incarceration of your Member of Parliament, Captain Dononzio Kahonda. The Chief Justice received your petition and acted upon it by writing to the Principal Judge who is the Head of the High Court to intervene,” reads Natwijuka’s letter.

This came after Kahonda’s supporters camped at State House Entebbe demanding for his freedom and denouncing Otafiire for witch-hunting their legislator.

With this directive, Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine wrote to the Jinja Resident Judge Eva Luswata on 30 June, 2017.

“It is not fair to put off a bail application for two months on account of writing judgments in other cases at a time when the judiciary lacks spare Judges to hear cases before their colleagues who are within jurisdiction,” Bamwine partly wrote.

The Principal Judge then requested Justice Luswata to either set aside time off her busy schedule to hear the bail application before August or get another Judge at the station to handle the matter soonest.

Acting on the Principal Judge’s letter, Justice Eva Luswata fixed MP Kahonda’s bail hearing last week on July 13, 2017.

In her letter dated July 11, Justice Luswata wrote to the Jinja Resident Senior State Attorney, Annette Namatovu Ddungu, requiring her to arrange for a prosecutor to be available at the July 13th hearing.

“I am unable to make yet another adjournment (back to 16/8/17 as suggested) which may solicit fresh complaints from the applicant and his advocates. This, I believe is the most fair position in the circumstances,” said Luswata in her letter.

MP Kahonda’s bail application hearing was then adjourned to Monday July 24, 2017.

Additional reporting by Daily Monitor

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