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Ingrid, 15 FDC supporters charged over Rukungiri violence, granted bail

FDC secretary for mobilization, Ms Ingrid Turinawe, awaits trial before being granted bail this afternoon (PML Daily PHOTO)

RUKUNGIRI- The Rukungiri Chief Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday evening only granted bail to 16 of the 40 people charged with inciting violence in connection with the failed FDC prayers in Rukungiri Main Stadium on Monday.

The group was arrested on Friday by police as it fired teargas at the FDC offices in Rukungiri Town after party leaders and the Force failed to reach consensus on holding the prayers in memory of some party members shot dead and injured during last year’s rally protesting the removal of the age limit from the Constitution.

The group, who included Ms Ingrid Turinawe, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) secretary for mobilization and Mr Innocent Tashobya, Rukungiri Municipality Deputy Speaker, appeared before court presided over by Moses Kule Rubagura with sureties, among them Dr Kizza Besigye and Rukungiri Municipality MP Roland Kaginda.

The court then charged them with inciting violence, disobeying lawful orders and malicious damage to property.

Each of the accused was released on a non-cash bail of Shs10 million and produced two sureties who committed Shs10 million each not cash. The six juveniles were released on non-cash bail of Shs1 million and two sureties.

However, by about 7.30pm, the court had listened to bail applications of only 16 accused persons, forcing them to adjourn the case to tomorrow. Ms Turinawe and Mr Tashobya were among those released on bail.

The standoff between police and FDC leaders in Rukungiri Town on Monday culminated in chaos and arrests.

The party had planned to hold thanksgiving prayers for some of their supporters who were killed on October 8 last year at Rukungiri stadium when police fought with opposition supporters, stopping them from holding a rally to speak against government’s plan to amend the presidential age limit.

While the FDC said they had informed police, the Force said the permission had not been granted.

FDC leaders such as party president Patrick Amuriat, MPs Roland Kaginda (Rukungiri Municipality), Betty Muzanira (Woman MP), Fred Turyamuhweza (Rujumbura) and district party chairperson Virginia Kyarugahe held a meeting with the top security officials, including the Resident District Commissioner, the District Police Commander, the District Internal Security Officer and the Regional Police Commander over the standoff around 11.30 am at the district headquarters.

However, from the meeting, the security officials stood their ground and never cleared the function.

Around 1 pm Police fired teargas to disperse throngs that had gathered at FDC offices on the Main Street and arrested at least 10 people including Ms Turinawe. They were driven to driven to Ntungamo district police station and were by press time still in custody.

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