Ntungamo Grade II magistrate’s court has set free 17 Go Forward supporters who beat up National Resistance Movement [NRM] party members in Ntungamo district during December 2015 campaigns.
The 17 supporters of former presidential candidate, Amama Mbabazi, were acquitted of assaulting NRM supporters on Friday by Ntungamo Grade One Magistrate Lydia Kambedia.
The suspects were on January 27, 2016 charged with eight counts of assault, three counts of malicious damage and causing grievous harm respectively, but were released on bail.
Kambedia, in her ruling, said the state had failed to produce convincing evidence against the accused.
Their lawyer, Onesmus Matsiko, said there was no evidence to prosecute his clients any further.
Matsiko insisted that the charges were politically motivated.
Some of the suspects are; Boaz Kumwesiga, Sulait Amanya, Amidu Kamwesiga Alias Kadeti, Alex Sekeba, Rebson Muhangi.
Other suspects are Apollo Asingwire are residents of Ntungamo while Frank Batemyeto, Ramathan Onzima, Lawrence King Mugabe, Rogers Nduga, Benon Turyamureba, Elia Mayinja, Abudulla Kasajja, Jamir Mutebi , George Sebatindira, Asadu Semakula and Frank Kabari.
Christopher Aine, the head of Mbabazi’s security, had been included on charge sheet before it was amended.
Bight Muhumuza, the coordinator for Mbabazi campaigns in Ankole sub-region, who had been arrested as he went to check on his colleagues in Ntungamo court, was later released on police bond.
The magistrate said on Friday that some suspects like Aine and Mbabazi had not been prosecuted but state chose to pick on individuals who had nothing to do with the said crimes.
State Attorney Jacob Nahurira who accuses the suspects of fighting President Museveni’s supporters during the presidential campaigns had planned to bring 12 more counts against them.
The magistrate then demanded this be the last time the charge sheet is being amended, and that if the trial starts as planned, the case be dismissed.
In March the same year, Apollo Asingwire a former LC5 councillor contestant for Ntungamo Sub County in the local council polls, was sent to Ntungamo Government Prison on remand for reportedly having participated in the beating of NRM supporters.
The presiding magistrate, Richard Ndangwa, remanded Asingwire on grounds that he refused to comply with court when he defied court sermons three times and therefore deserves to be remanded.