A small crowd that had gathered at the National Unity Platform (NUP) party headquarters in Kamwokya near Kampala burst wild ululations as a convoy carrying 18 supporters arrived from the Makindye based military court martial.
All the 18 – notable among them in Ali Buken aka Nubian Li – a musical partner to the NUP leader, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) and his bodyguard, Edward Ssebuwufu (Eddy Mutwe) were released after six months in detention over alleged illegal possession of ammunition.
Others are; Hassan Ssemakula alias Abdul Soldier, Kenny Kyalimpa, Lukeman Mwijukye alias Kampala, Daniel Onywerot alias Dan Magic, Robert Kivumbi alias Mighty Family, Ibrahim Tamale and Muzafuru Mwanje alias Main Gate.
The list also had Achileo Kivumbi, Joseph Onzima alias Tawa, Anthony Agaba alias Bobi Young, Brian Ssemanda alias Dictator Museveni Must Go, Richard Kalema alias Ricardo, Geoffrey Mutalya, Alex Karamagi alias Doggy City, Isma Muganga alias Jaja Isma and Baker Kalyango.
They were part of a group of more than 100 NUP mobilisers who were arrested on December 30, 2020 from Kalangala district where Kyagulanyi had gone for his presidential campaigns.
Welcoming them from jail, Kyagulanyi who was in the company of other NUP leaders said that they will explore avenues how their comrades can attain justice after being arrested on baseless crimes. He explained that the suspects were beaten, humiliated and thrown in Kitalya prison where they have been languishing in jail without any crime.
“This is another batch of the many comrades who were arrested from Kalangala on December 30, last year. We thank all Ugandans that put pressure on the government to see to it that our comrades are released. We however want to remind all Ugandans that hundreds and hundreds of our colleagues are still languishing in various prisons both gazette and ungazetted,” Kyagulanyi said.
Eddie Mutwe and Nubian Li spoke on behalf of the group and told journalists about the poor conditions they endured while at Kitalya prison.
“You sleep like a dog, there is no water, no medication, most of the time our people were being denied access. But we thank God we’re out because we had no case,” said Eddie Mutwe.
Mutwe said that hundreds more are still jailed at Kitalya over politically influenced charges, and most of them were sent to Kitalya by the military court. He urged the NUP leadership to fight the idea of trying civilians in a military court.
Prior to their appearance in the General Court Martial, the accused persons appeared before Masaka Magistrates Court on charges of inciting violence and doing an act that is likely to spread an infectious disease. But the charges have since been dismissed.