Rwandese illegal entry case adjourned

By Sania Babirye
Hearing of the case against a Rwandan National charged with illegal entry and stay in Uganda has failed to kick off due to the absence of the trial magistrate.

Nakawa court grade one magistrate Fiona Sheila Angura is the presiding judge but she is apparently away on official duties.

Now the case has been adjourned to the 5th of this month.
On the 11th of March,grade one magistrate Fiona Shiela Angura granted a two million cash bail to Ishimye Moses Lutale after spending almost two month in Luzira prison.

Lutale was temporarily released after State Prosecutor Justine Feni informed court that he found his sureties substantial.

Daniel Walyemera who is the lawyer to the suspect says his client was arrested in December 2018 near CMI premises in Bugolobi where he claims that he had gone for fellow ship in the nearby house.

Walyemera revealed that his client was arrested by security operatives from the chieftaincy of Military Intelligence apparently loitering near one if its installations .

He was arrested after he failed to identify himself when security operatives asked him for his identification.

Walyemere claims that his client’s stay in Uganda is legal because he had stayed in Uganda for six months and citizens from East Africa member countries are allowed a six month stay having been arrested in December 2018 yet he entered Uganda on the 26th of October 2018.

Its alleged that the applicant entered Uganda on 26th October 2018 using Katuna border and by the time of his arrest he had stayed in the country for two months.

In May 2018, a court in Kabale convicted Eight Rwandans on charges of entering and staying in Uganda illegally and sentenced them to 13 months in prison or pay a fine of 300, 000 shillings each.

These pleaded guilty before Kabale magistrate court to have entered Uganda on the 28th of April illegally through the Katuna border with out valid travel document.

They were charged with contravening the Uganda Citizenship and immigrant control laws.

The sentence came after two senior Ugandan police officers including the Isingiro District Police Commander Richard Erimu Okiror and CID officer Charles Ndamanyire were arrested in March for setting free13 Rwandan Nationals who had illegally entered Uganda through Kisoro district .

In 2017, the Rwandan Government protested the alleged arrests of its citizens like Hisele Gatsinzi,Rene Rutangugira and James Bayingana but the Ugandan government through its spokes person Ofwono Opondo denied the allegations saying no Rwandan is being arrested and illegally detained by Ugandans.

Opondo clarified that any Rwandan who has been arrested has issues with the law and have since been produced in court to prove their innocence.

However , when both president Museveni and Kagame held talks in Uganda in March 2017, they blamed the tension between the two countries on lack of information sharing and cooperation within their intelligence chiefs.

President Museveni while addressing the media claimed that there was no fundamental conflict between the two countries nor border problems and that the allegations of Rwandans being harassed in Uganda was due to lack of corporation between Uganda and Rwanda.

These then promised to share information equally on citizens related matters and strengthen cooperation to eliminate the alleged tension and President Museveni argued officials from both countries to always work together to solve such problems.

However, this talk did not yield more positive returns and the tensions escalated forcing Rwanda to close its border in February this year.

The border closure has since been attributed to the political tension between the two countries with President Kagame claiming that the tension has escalated because both countries have failed to solve their differences.

Kigili claimed that the famous Katuna border had been closed to allegedly allow for the finishing of the one stop border since its completion had been delayed for two years but surprisingly, advised its citizens to not travel to Uganda for their own safety as stated by Rwandan Foreign Minister Richard Sezibera.