KAMPALA – The High Court has on Monday May 11 released former Security Minister Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde on bail.
Justice Wilson Kwesiga granted the troubled general, cum presidential candidate after accepting his three sureties — his wife, his brother and former Minister Mathew Rukikaire.
On April 14th, 2020, Justice Wilson Kwesiga had refused to grant bail to Gen. Tumukunde, saying he needed to present at least two sureties who are above his rank and still serving in the army.
But through his lawyers led by Anthony Wameli and Geoffrey Turyamusiima, Gen. Tumukunde says it’s practically impossible to get bail given the conditions spelt out by court.
The lawyers added that they can’t secure the required sureties since the suspect retired from the army.
In accepting to grant him bail, Justice Kwesiga has ordered Gen. Tumukunde to sign a UGX. 50 million non-cash bail, deposit his passport in court and his sureties to each execute a non-cash bond of UGX. 50 million.
The judge agreed with Gen. Tumukunde’s lawyers saying that given the nature of the offence he has been charged with, no military officer of his rank or above him is willing to associate with him.
The judge also ordered that the said bail terms should be applied before the Magistrate court where Gen. Tumukunde is charged with offences of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
On the issue of investigations, the lawyers contend that police hasn’t been affected in any way by the lockdown 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 since 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 directed all parties to file written submissions on the new application within this week so that he delivers his ruling on May 11th, 2020.
Gen. 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 was remanded to Luzira Prisons in March this year after he was charged with treason and illegal possession of firearms.