MPs treason trial to stay in Gulu court

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Lawyer Ssegona representing the accused

The High Court sitting in Gulu Monday ruled that the opposition legislators charged with treason and malicious damage will have their cases heard in Gulu.

Monday’s ruling follows a letter from Chief Magistrate Francis Matenga Dawa and a demand from the MPs’ defence team to the High Court saying that the case could not be heard in Gulu.

The defence team comprising of lawyers Medard Ssegona, Hon Asuman Basalirwa and Mr Acellam Paul Ocaya said the crimes for which the MPs are charged were allegedly committed in Arua town which is a different magisterial area.

The detained MPs include Kasiano Wadri [Arua Municipality], Paul Mwiru [Jinja East], Gerald Karuhanga [Ntungamo Municipality] and former MP Mike Mabikke.

The resident state attorney Mr Omia Patrick argued that while cases were committed in Arua, the situation at the time was tense and could not allow a court sitting.

Victoria University

He said the case should not be transferred back to Arua because it is till volatile having just elected Kasiano Wadri as their new MP.

In the end both parties before the chief magistrate consented to the venue.

Judge Mubiru Stephen said the accused would continue to appear in court for the mention of their case.

They are charged with treason for allegedly leading mobs to stone President Museveni’s convoy.

Voices on Arua violence

Religious leaders are planning to visit Arua to establish the basis for last week’s electoral violence, a day before the area by-election that resulted into the arrest of at least 34 people including members of parliament.

Meeting at their offices in Kampala on Monday, the Interreligious Council of Uganda re-echoed their call for national dialogue and reconciliation.

Former Prime Minister Apollo Nsibambi has said that the attack on opposition legislators during a campaign trail in Arua was unwarranted.

The statement follows the arrest and detention of more than 30 people, during the last day of campaigns for the Arua Municipality Parliamentary Seat.

Dr. Maggie Kigozi, a member of the Elders’ Forum, has called for a speeding up of the process leading to the National Dialogue between political parties in the country.

This follows last week’s violent aftermath, at the end of campaigns to choose an MP for the Arua Municipality.

The Speaker Rebecca Kadaga spoke to Hon Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine from Botswana where she is attending the CPA Africa Region Conference.

“I spoke to him for over 10 minutes and he assured me that he was doing well & receiving medical care”.

Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake on the other hand is back on life support at Lubaga hospital.

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