By Andrew Irumba
Kampala: Tonny Kipoi, the former Member of Parliament for Bubulo West constituency, who has been in Luzira prisons since 2018, has been granted bail this Thursday afternoon by the General Court Martial.
The Court martial chaired by Lt General Andrew Gutti also released Kipoi’s co-accused Rogers Mweru, Yunus Lemertga, Ifosiga Saidi Dodla, Cassim Adams Mawa, Sergeant Okeng , James Shimali and Yusuf Kiisa without sureties as requested by their lawyer Major Charles Ssekayita. Kipoi’s lawyer argued that since prosecution had not filed its response to the amnesty application filed by Kipoi, the suspects should be released on bail without sureties as it is provided for in the constitution.
After being granted bail, Kipoi and his co-accused were ordered by court to report to the registrar every first Thursday of the month. Kipoi was jailed after being extradited from Botswana in March 2018, where he had been arrested for allegedly conning several people in Botswana while purporting to be a witchdoctor. On being extradited to Uganda, Kipoi was paraded at the Court Martial together with his co-accused and charged with offences related to treason. Prosecution alleged that between 2011 and 2012 in diverse places in Uganda specifically in Kampala, Mpigi, Luwero Entebbe, Fort Portal, Mbale, Masaka and Nakasongola, the accused ostrated a plot to overthrow the government of Uganda.
The suspects reportedly organized meetings, mobilized funds; acquired firearms and military training in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo also mobilized and recruited people into their rank and file. However, the suspects pleaded not guilty. Prosecution led by Lt Col Raphael Mugisha brought five witnesses to testify against Kipoi and his co-accused. The witnesses included Etienne Muhumuza, the Chairperson of Bundibugyo District Public Accounts Committee, Sergeant Major Naswagi Semahera, a soldier from the Uganda People Defense Forces-UPDF Air Defense and Bernard Turyamureeba a Police Officer who arrested Kipoi in 2012. In April, Kipoi applied for Amnesty and denounced all rebel activities. However, prosecution was on Thursday June 6th, supposed to reply to his Amnesty request, although they didn’t after Lt . Col. Mugisha told court that he was still waiting for feedback from investigating officers, which prompted Lt. Gen. Guti to release the suspects on bail.