The lawyers of jailed former Security Minister, Lt. General Henry Tumukunde have filed an application asking High Court in Kampala to ease the conditions set for his bail. Tumukunde was remanded to Luzira Prisons in March this year after he was charged with treason and illegal possession of firearms.
As a result, his lawyers led by Anthony Wameli and Geoffrey Turyamusiima filed an application for bail. They argued that Tumukunde was of advanced age and the fact that he needed time to consult people on his presidential ambitions among other grounds. On April 14th, 2020, Justice Wilson Kwesiga delivered his ruling on the application, saying some necessary steps like investigations had been disrupted due to the nationwide lock down because of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Kwesiga advised Tumukunde when applying for bail next time to present at least two sureties who are above his rank and still serving in the army. Tumukunde had previously presented his wife Stella Tumukunde, Brother Haanington Karuhanga, Retired Major General Mugisha Muntu and FDC’s Salaam Musumba as his sureties. However, in their fresh application, Tumukunde’s lawyers, say it’s practically impossible for their client to get bail given the conditions spelt out by court.
The application is backed by a sworn affidavit by the suspect’s wife, Stella Tumukunde, saying they can’t secure the required sureties since the suspect retired from the army. On the issue of investigations, the lawyers contend that Police hasn’t been affected in any way by the lock down since they are considered essential service providers. The Judge had previously directed police to do investigations within 30 days, saying that they had been affected by the lockdown.
They also argue that there is a likelihood of government extending the lockdown given the confirmation of new Covid 19 cases. The team, which has been joined by McDusman Kabega also argues that the World Health Organization has advised countries to extend the Lockdown up to December, 2020 to be on a safer side. To prove that their client will abide by the bail terms, they have attached the title of Tumukunde’s house in Kololo.
They also note that his three sureties including his wife, family friend Matthew Rukikaire and brother Hanninngton Karuhanga are substantial. Justice Kwesiga has directed all parties to file written submissions on the new application within this week so that he delivers his ruling on May 11th, 2020. Tumukunde found himself in Luzira Prisons when he reportedly called on a foreign government to cause unlawful change of the legitimate Government of Uganda while appearing on the Kamwokya based NBS TV during the Morning Breeze Program on March 5th 2020.
Tumukunde reportedly said that “if I was Rwanda I would wish to support people who want to cause change in Uganda” a statement which the Prosecution says that it was aimed at instigating the Republic of Rwanda to invade the Republic of Uganda to cause unlawful change of Government. Prosecution also alleged that on March 13, 2020 while at Impala Avenue in Kampala District, Tumukunde was found in illegal possession of an AK 47 rifle Registration number 19865 and Star Pistol Registration number EL 860030. The general has since denied the offenses.