LUZIRA/KAMPALA – Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulangi Sentamu aka Bobi Wine has Thursday afternoon been granted bail.
Dr. Miria Matembe, MPs Gaffa Mbwatekamwa and Patrick Nsamba Oshabe stood surety for the legislator.
In her ruling, Buganda Road Grade One Magistrate Esther Nahirya said all the three sureties for Bobi Wine are substantial and therefore granted the application.
She however asked the MP to pay an UGX. million cash bond and each of the three sureties asked to pay UGX10m non-cash.
“You are not allowed to engage in any unlawful demonstrations and if you breach this condition, the bail will be cancelled,” the magistrate said, before setting the legislator free.
She adjourned the case to May 23, 2019.
Bobi Wine was not physically present in court as Buganda Road court used the newly rolled out teleconferencing technology for his bail hearing.
His lead attorney Asuman Basalirwa told court that his client is a peaceful man with no history of conviction.
Lawyer Basalirwa added that Bobi Wine has a young family who solely depend on him.
The musician turned politician was in Luzira prison while his lawyers were making submissions from Buganda Road court where a video link was set up at Luzira prison.
Bobi Wine becomes the first Ugandan to be tried via digital system as his supporters painted Buganda Road Court with red, an official color of People Power to whom he is the patron.
Bobi Wine who spoke to Court from Luzira Maximum Security Prison via the video conference told the court that he’s standing for truth no matter consequences.
“Your honor, I thank you for the opportunity to speak under these abnormal circumstances. I want to emphasize that it is not me on trial. It is the court itself on trial. Whatever you decide in that court, your honor, THAT IS NOT MY BUSINESS,” the youthful MP said.
He added that “my business is standing for the truth. My business is standing for what is morally right. My business is standing for what morally beneficial to you, to me, to those people who are persecuting me under the guise of prosecuting me, and all the people of Uganda. Your honor, if standing for what is right will earn me my freedom, I will thank God for it. But your honor, if standing for what is right is going to keep me in this prison, and then I will thank God even louder. After all, I have a lot of work to do, even here in prison.”
Video system receives social media backlash
Meanwhile, the video conferencing has received mixed reactions from the public.
“This video conferencing in court is meant to intimidate politicians. Fear to strike, talk or oppose because of the fear of being thrown into Luzira. Bobi Wine is not at trial, Uganda is at trial,” a one Jonah Mulindwa said on twitter.
“The authorities’ decision made this morning to hear the bail application of Bobi Wine’s case via video conferencing system at Luzira prison in Uganda has denied an opportunity to Bobi Wine supporters to see their beloved musician turned politician,” another social media user posted.