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Thursday, September 29, 2022

No Bail for Murder Cases: Public Demand, Increased Crime and corruption informs the President’s plan to drop mercy

On September 26, 2021, at around 6pm, police at Namasagali, responded to a life-threatening situation, where they rescued two traditional healers, identified as Namuyindo Yosam and Ojja Joseph, from an irate mob at Kadungu “B”village, Kisakye Parish, Namasagali sub-county in Kamuli district.

Upon rushing the traditional healers to Namasagali police station for safe custody, the violent mob raided the station with pangas, sticks and stones with intent of lynching the two suspects.

During the scuffle for the police gun, one of their own, D/C Kasolo succumbed to injuries while being rushed to hospital while one of the rescued victims, Namuyindo Yosam was fatally wounded by stray bullets.

A crime preventer identified as Bagadira David, who was riding a motorcycle during the rescue mission, was also attacked, injured and in critical condition, but admitted at Kamuli Mission Hospital.

This is a current and documented case that shows the rate at which people are beginning to take the law in their hands because court and police are corruptible and sometimes release criminal under the disguise of the “Law’’ and things like bail and bond.

The Daily Monitor of 28th September 2021, has reported a story about Priests of St. Joseph Busunju Catholic parish, Kiyinda Mityana Diocese who were attacked by Machete wielding thugs on 26th September 2021. They have asked the Inspector General to re arrest the suspects. The Parish Priest, Emmanuel Kiyemba said that the released two men are key suspects and have potential of harming more people and also be able to cover tracks of previous committed attacks.

Outcries continue to come through with bitterness from the public and continued release of murder suspects who later on come out and tamper with evidence against them.

One may say these are small isolated crimes but on several cases, people on police bond and bail have been lynched and if not, a lot of grumbling among the victims is succeeded by conflicts between the aggrieved and the suspects’ families.

President Museveni Knows the Law but wants Justice

The president has opposed the life sentence and bail to people on trial for murder related cases. Whereas facts in the past indicate that Museveni has been a merciful person, he is siding with the people now.  He pardoned Rwakasisi a former security Minister in Obote’s government who committed extra judicial killings on Ugandans.

The president recently exercised his prerogative of mercy and pardoned Katuramu who was convicted for masterminding the murder of Prince Happy Kijanangoma on March 25, 1999 in Fort Portal.

On 22nd of April 2020 pardoned 833 prisoners’ country wide through the Prerogative of Mercy as a measure against the spread of COVID-19 (Corona virus) by decongesting the prison facilities.

There are so many counts on which the president has pardoned serious crimes and given fresh starts to people. Nasur Abdullah who was a governor in Amin’s government, Mustafa Idris, Luwuriza Kirunda Minister in Obote’s government, the infamous Mjr. Rurangaranga. The list is endless.

Why has Museveni Changed his Position?

With the increased rate of crime and corruption cases, he started to gradually rethink his position. In June 2018 the president was quoted saying that there are two things that he not going to accept any more; Police bond and court bail.  “Somebody suspected of killing our people and you give them police bond? No way, this is not acceptable.” He said.

The President started coming on spot opposing the position of giving bail to people involved in corruption and murder cases.  While meeting members of the NRM in Kololo in August 2021, he called for amendment of the constitution to deny bail to civil servants who are battling corruption charges especially those that embezzle public funds.  A measure that would see corruption being wiped off from our Nation.

What the president needs now is not to politicize the whole issue by debating back and forth. The president needs support from the judiciary and the legislature for an opportunity to end capital offenses and corruption.

He is very clear, he is making an exception move. He is not saying that bail be scrapped off completely. He is saying let the innocent be innocent until proved guilty while under detention only in murder and corruption (Public fund embezzlement to be specific) cases.

Laws have exceptions and to restore order and peace to our society, this is an exception worth introducing to the constitution of Uganda.

We cannot take the presidents current position on bail for granted but rather a determination to wipe crime related to spilling innocent Ugandan blood. This does not call for politicizing but needs legal support.

 

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