By Sania Babirye
Criminal summons have been issued against Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu aka Bobi Wine after he failed to turn up in court this morning for mention of his case.
Bobiwine was to appear before Buganda road court grade one magistrate together with his four co accused but only his co accused appeared in court today.
However, his lawyer Asuman Basalirwa informed grade one magistrate Esther Nahirya that his client is currently out of the country on official duties.
The magistrate then issued criminal summons requiring the Musician turned politician and legislator to appear in court mot later than the 10th of July this year and also extended their bail up to then.
On the 2nd of May, Buganda road court grade one magistrate Esther Nahirya granted bail to Bobi wine via a video conferencing system.
Bobi wine became the first person to be tried using the new technology that was launched by the chief justice Bart Katureebe on the 15th of April this year to allow judges to try inmates without necessarily being present in court but through a video link in Luzira prison.
Bobi wine was remanded to Luzira prison on 29th of this month by grade one magistrate Esther Nahirya after he was charged and pleaded not guilty to offenses relating to disobedience of statutory duty .
The magistrate also failed to grant him bail and referred his bail application to the 2nd of May.
His lawyers led by Asuman told court that his sureties had been blocked to access court with some arrested and detained at Nagalama police station in Mukono in case of Hon.Francis Zaake while others had their documents like local council letters confiscated by police.
The magistrate then ruled that Bobi wine should be remanded briefly to allow his lawyers organize their sureties and the magistrate also advised them from bringing high profile suruties that attract too much attention.
According to the amended charge sheet tendered in court , Bobi Wine was surprisingly charged over offenses he committed in 2018.
The charges are apparently in relation to his protest over the now social media tax (OTT) which he is said to have allegedly committed on 11th of July 2018 at City square with in Kampala city.
Bobiwine is accused of holding a public meeting without giving notice to any authorized officer or police who would ensure that all participants of his meeting are unarmed and peaceful .
Prosecution states that the actions of Bobi Wine were contrary to sections 5 and 10 of the public Order Management Act of 2013.
Bobi Wine is charged with four others.
These include David Lule, Julius Katongole, Edward Sebuufu and Fred Nyanzi Sentamu, however, the four were charged in 2018 .
However before accepting to go on remand, Bobi Wine adressed and in his own words he said:
“Your honor I am confident because it is not me on trial but this court on trial because I have not committed any crime. I have not stolen public funds or killed anyone. I am here because I have spoken against this government and specifically president Museveni. Your honor i am here because i have spoken against unfair taxation so i am fighting for everyone and for you”.
Leader of opposition did also criticism reasons cited by state while objecting to the bail application of Bobiwine.
This is after state prosecutor Timothy Francis Amerit told court that sureties like Hon.Miria Matembe were insubstantial since she was of advanced age of 64 and not capable to feasibly compel Bobiwine to adhere to court orders.
However, the leader of Opposition said that it was ironical that the State recently just amended the constitution and lifted the presidential age limit to allow even a person of over 100 years to rule the country yet,the state is objecting a person of 64 years to only stand surety.