LUWERO–Ruhinda County MP Donozio Kahonda breathed a sigh of some relief after finally winning his freedom mid-morning Tuesday.
Kahonda a retired army captain who finds himself at loggerheads with former constituency bigwig Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire was granted bail by a magistrate in Luwero.
His release temporarily suspends his incarceration of nearly two months.
The MP had first won bail at Jinja High Court last week but was immediately re-arrested. He remained in prison, until this morning, awaiting arraignment on two fresh counts of alleged forgery and uttering of false documents.
When he successfully applied for release on bail today, there were again attempts by police to re-arrest him. This time the men in khaki uniforms were not so lucky.
It is alleged that Kahonda uttered a Uganda Certificate of Education document to UNEB in which he claimed to be Dickson Mutabazi, yet he is not.
Kahonda was also accused of forging a medical report at the UPDF’s Junior Command and Staff College in Jinja in the same name.
He has suffered some distress ever since.
Matters were aggravated by his decision to join elective politics in Ruhinda, deigning to unseat Maj. Gen. Otafiire – Uganda’s justice and constitutional affairs minister who had made the seat his own over several terms.
After Kahonda took the ruling party flag in late 2015, the minister was not impressed. He decided to run against this upstart as an independent in the February 2016 election but still found that the electorate had, had enough of him.
So, off to court the political contest progressed, even with Maj. Gen. (rtd) Otafiire not seeming to be directly involved in the pressing of charges.
In June, Kahonda was found guilty of forgery and uttering false documents by Jinja Chief Magistrate John Francis Kaggwa. He was sentenced to nine months in jail.
The MP has appealed the ruling and applied for bail in the Jinja High Court, arguing that the lower court convicted him of various counts of impersonation, forgery and uttering false documents without establishing the ingredients of the said offences.
He also cited political interference in the case by his political nemesis, Maj. Gen. Otafiire.
Caleb Mwesigwa , one of Kahonda’s lawyers , has observed that the charges preferred against his client are aimed at sweeping him off the political scene by keeping him in detention.
Francis Mwijukye, the Buhweju County MP, said: “Hon Donozio Kahonda finally gets out of prison as the magistrate in Luwero grants him bail. Police attempted to re-arrest him but were defeated hands down.”
Kahonda garnered 21,467 votes against the justice minister’s 12,949, defeating him in all nine sub-counties of Ruhinda Central in the 2016 general elections.