KAMPALA – Former presidential candidate, Joseph Kabuleta, who is accused of promoting sectarianism, was Wednesday released on a Ugx2m cash bail.
Nakawa Court Chief Magistrate, Rita Neumbe Kidasa granted Kabuleta bail after finding his sureties substantial.
“There is no need of keeping the accused person on remand in Luzira Prison when investigations are still ongoing,” she said.
The sureties, who are friends of Kabuleta, were directed to execute a non-cash bond of Ugx20m each. They are Nakawa East MP – Ronald Balimwezo, National Economic Empowerment Dialogue –NEED party secretary general Asuman Odoka and Victor Ayebazibwe Mbabazi.
Kidasa warned Kabuleta against discussing the case outside court, stressing that it was contravened the law.
The magistrate stated that the offence Kabuleta is facing was bailable, adding that he enjoyed the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Kabuleta, 50, was charged with promoting sectarianism alongside Prossy Ayebare, who is still at large. Kabuleta has since denied the charge.
The duo is battling the charges under section 41(1) of the Penal Code Act. The offence attracts a maximum sentence of five-year imprisonment, upon conviction.
Prior to the ruling of the bail application, defence lawyers, led by Asuman Basalirwa, told the court that Kabuleta has a grave illness, which needed immediate attention from his personal doctors.
He submitted that Kabuleta is a responsible man with a fixed place of residence at Kiruddu, Buziga in Makindye Division, Kampala district and has no capacity of interfering with investigations.
“The accused is innocent until proven guilty and the offence he allegedly committed involves no violence,” he argued.
In response, State Attorney Doreen Elima argued that Kabuleta did not bring proof that his illness cannot be managed by Luzira Prison medical doctors.
She also stated that the nature of the offence the accused committed is likely to spark violence.
The prosecution alleges that on May 30, 2022, in Kampala district, Kabuleta and others still at large, held a press conference under their NEED political party, where they purported that social service delivery in Mbarara district is based on ethnic lines of the Tutsi, Bahima, Bakiga and Banyankole.
The utterances, according to prosecution, are likely to create alienation or despondency, raise discontent or dissatisfaction and promote feelings of ill-will or hostility in public.
The magistrate adjourned the case to January 8, 2023, for mention.
Kabuleta was arrested from National Economic Empowerment Dialogue –NEED offices in Bugoloobi. He was picked by Toyota Hiace commonly known as drones and detained at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations –CID, Kibuli.
Kabuleta was reportedly arrested for failure to honour a police summons issued to him to report to Kampala Metropolitan Police Headquarters on 3rd November 2022 for an interview and statement recording on charges of Promoting Sectarianism.
“Police general inquiry began on the 14th June 2022 to verify allegations that Joseph Kabuleta and others still at large, made utterances which were likely to create alienation or despondency, raise discontent or disaffection and promote feelings of ill will or hostility among members of the public,” said police.
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