October 20, 2021

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FDC criticises Museveni plan to abolish bail

FDC deputy spokesperson John Kikonyogo

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All Ugandans now have come to understand the meaning of Bail, opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party pointed out.

This has come as a result of President Museveni’s intentions to abolish Bail on capital offences such as murder.

The right to apply for Bail is an inherent to all Ugandans, bail is not absolute it’s only granted on the desecration of the Court.

Bail may be denied or restricted, the duty to deny bail lies on the state/ prosecution which may present compelling reasons to move Court to deny bail.

In other words every bail application is considered on its own peculiar merit and circumstances.

Uganda being a commonwealth country, falls under the Common Law system which is based on presumption of innocence.

In Uganda the presumption of innocence is created under Article 28 (3)a of the 1995 constitution and it is entrenched under Article 44(c) of the same Constitution which makes the whole Article 28 non- derogable.

Under Article 260 of the Constitution, the presumption of innocence as created by Article 28 (3)a of the 1995 Constitution entrenched by article 44c can only be repealed or amended by a decision of the people of Uganda through referendum. Therefore the presumption of innocence is a back born of Uganda’s criminal justice system.

The law requires that whoever grants bail it must be through discretionally power, such a desecration must be exercised, judiciously (meaning balanced mind with high degree of ethics and professional competence.

Historically, on May 15th 2011, Mr. Museveni set up a 5 member team to examine his idea of amending the Constitution to deny bail to suspects of economic sabotage, murder, rioters, and hostile media among others.

“We have Ugandans who were imprisoned, granted bail and were rearrested but Court found them innocent 10 years later,” said deputy FDC spokesperson John Kikonyogo.

 Joseph Musasizi Kifefe (Kizza bessigyes brother) Rebert Tweyambe and Frank Atukunda were accused of killing a none existent John Byarugaba in Bushenyi in July 2002.

In 2007, they were granted bail and re-arrested, however the then DPP Richard Buteera dropped charges on 18th Aug 2009 in a letter he wrote to Charles Kisakye, the Chief Magistrate of Bushenyi District by that time.

During that period Joseph Musasizi was denied treatment and later died in incarceration, later after 3 years, he was declared Innocent after his death. There is no kind of compensation that can be given to his family.

“As FDC we want to tell Ugandans that this Bail discussion is not new. Mr Museveni has tried it many times before, the latest being in 2011. We call upon Ugandans not to take this discussion literally, his intention is to engage Ugandans into constant discussion on merits and demerits of bail.”

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