KAMPALA – Buganda Road Magistrates Court has dismissed charges of promoting sectarianism against city businessman Moses Kalungi Kirumira commonly known as Bill Gates.
Court presided over by Grade One Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu dismissed the charges saying that Kalungi was arraigned in court on the charges that had not been consented to by the Director of Public Prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo as required under the law.
It is also alleged that Kalungi told Olugu that, “You are an Acholi, this is the end of your time in office. You Acholi, that is why Museveni fought you and you are fighting Baganda.”
But Kalungi’s lawyers objected to the charges saying that their client was erroneously charged before court since the charges had not been consented to by the DPP as required under the law.
In her ruling, Kamasanyu said that the Penal Code Act states that the charges of promoting sectarianism must be consented to by the DPP and short of that, there is no legal basis for one to be charged with that offense.
She added that at the top of the charge sheet was the word sanctioned with a stamp of Buganda Road Resident State Attorney and another from the office of the DPP but there was no clear proof to show that the charges had been consented to by the DPP.
In 2020, Kalungi was sent to Kitalya government prison together with his son Moses Kabuye on charges of theft. This was after he reportedly broke into one of his tenants sports betting shop located on Kalungi Plaza in Kampala and removed property worth 44 million shillings for failing to pay rent arrears during the coronavirus lockdown.
Speaking to journalists, Kalungi who spent two weeks on remand before being released on bail said that he is going to sue the state for wrongful prosecution and demand to be compensated.
The charges have been dismissed following a successful application presented earlier by Kalungi’s lawyers led by Francis Ssebowa.
The prosecution had alleged that on August 27, 2020, Kalungi uttered statements to Detective Assistant Commissioner of Police Francis Olugu which aimed at promoting hatred or contempt and ill will against the Acholi community on account of tribe, ethnic or regional origin.
According to the charge sheet, the prosecution quotes Kalungi for having allegedly told Olugu that “You Commissioner, you are not even a Ugandan that is why President Museveni fought you and you are not supposed to be in this country.”