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Court orders arrest of Kakwenza’s sureties

The Buganda Road Chief Magistates  court has ordered the arrest of  the sureties for exiled novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija.

The court in January granted bail to Kakwenza after presenting four people including National Unity Platform  Secretary General Lewis Rubongoya, lawyer Julius Galisonga,  Annah Ashaba, a teacher at Kololo Secondary School and  Job Kiija.




However, Kakwenza would later flee the country into exile in Germany where he is receiving treatment for wounds inflicted on him while in security detention.

Last week, court issued criminals summons to the four sureties to appear today to show cause for not bringing Kakwenza to court.

However, on Monday, Chief Magistrate, Dr.Douglas Singiza issued arrest warrants for all the four sureties.



“An arrest warrant is issued against all the four sureties in this case,”Dr.Singiza said.

“If the sureties appear in court with the bail money(shs10 million each), their obligation as sureties will be discharged and the arrest warrant cancelled.”



Drag feet

Earlier, the state prosecutor, Joan Keko had asked court to force the four sureties to forfeit the shs10 million bail money each had been asked to pay as bond or they should show cause as to why the court should not order their arrest.



“Since the accused is not in court, the only way sureties can be discharged is by forfeiting the money given when the accused was granted bail,” Keko told court.

The lawyers for the four sureties however dragged court saying ordering their arrest would be unfair to them.



“In the event of the urge of enforcing the obligations of the sureties, arresting them shouldn’t be the first option,” lawyer Samuel Wanda who represents Rubongoya and Ashaba told court.

He said the first option should be asking that the sureties forfeit the shs10 million each and if this fails, then court can order for their arrest.




Lawyers Josephine Nasasira representing Julius Galisonga and Ivan Bwowe for Job Kaija asked court that their clients be discharged as sureties for Kakwenza.

However, in his ruling, the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate said what the lawyers were asking for is akin to trying to stop water under the bridge.



“What the sureties are trying to do stopping water under the bridge where most has already passed. The sureties have breached their obligations and their prayer is a non-starter. Court cant be stopped now from issuing an arrest warrant,”Dr.Singiza said.

He said that by the look of things, the four sureties are not sure of their roles and that they need constant reminders but said court cant be party to this.

The case was adjourned to May, 11, 2022.



Charges

The critical writer who is also the PEN Prize international writer of courage faces charges related to offensive communication contrary to section 25 of the Computer Misuse Act 2011 for allegedly abusing President Museveni and the Commander of Land Forces, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba through social media.




“On December, 24, 2021, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija in the Kampala district willfully and repeatedly used his twitter handled  to disturb the peace of his excellency the president of Uganda General Yoweri Museveni with no purpose of legitimate communicate,” the charge sheet read in part.

Kakwenza hower said he would never return to court citing biasness by the trial magistrate Dr.Douglas Singiza.



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