By Spy Uganda
Ntungamo: Minister of State for Labour and current Rushenyi County Member of Parliament, Hon Mwesigwa Rukutana has Tuesday morning been granted a shs4m cash bail.
He has been granted bail by Ntungamo Magistrate’s Court where his lawyers led by Owen Murangira had applied for the same.
“Yes, he was given a shs4m cash bail this morning. He was also ordered to deposit his passport, and his sureties were given a shs50M non cash bail,” Mulangira told our reporter.
Rukutana can however access his passport whenever he wants to travel by requesting court for the same, his lawyer Mulangira clarified further.
His sureties included former Information Minister Jim Katugugu Muhwezi, renowned city businessman Bob Kabonero and Igara East County MP Michael Mawanda.
According to the bail application filed last week, the minister through his lawyers sought to dismiss concerns by State Prosecution that he was likely to interfere with investigations once out on bail.
Rukutana’s lawyers argued that a mere allegation that he would interfere with investigations was not enough ground to deny him bail.
Lawyer submitted, “The applicant should not be deprived of his/her freedom unreasonably and bail should not be refused merely as a punishment as this would conflict with the presumption of innocence. The refusal to grant bail should not be based on mere allegations.”
He added, “The grounds must be substantiated. Both High Court and the subordinate Courts have discretionary powers to set bail conditions which they deem reasonable, though this must be done with caution.”
His bail came after being remanded at Kitalya Prison since September 7, 2020 on charges of attempted murder, threatening violence, assault causing bodily harm and malicious damage.
The charges stem from the violence that erupted in the wake of the NRM primary elections in Rushenyi in, Ntungamo district in which he was tussling with another strong contender, Naomi Kabasharira.
It should be remembered that President Yoweri Museveni, while presiding over swearing in ceremony of the new Chief Justice Owiny-Dollo and his deputy Richard Buteera at State House Entebbe last week, he urged court not to release Minister Rukutana on bail arguing that ‘impunity’ must end.
“I hope the DPP will also oppose bail. The image of impunity is not acceptable,” Museveni warned.