Bajjo ruling flops

By Sania Babirye

Ruling of the bail application filed by Music promoter Bajjo has flopped this morning because the trial magistrate is away on leave.

In a communication made by Buganda road court grade one magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu on behalf of trial magistrate Stella Maris Amabilisi, the ruling has further been pushed to the 11th of July.

Meanwhile, Bajjo’s lawyer Erias Lukwago had asked court to have his client granted bail today because of his poor health.

Lukwago informed magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu that Bajjo is currently suffering from severe abdominal pain due to the injuries he sustained while being arrested by Police.

However, Kamasanyu informed them that she is not the trial magistrate so she can’t pronounce herself on the matter and the fact that they have not presented any medical proof to show that Bajjo’s alleged health condition cannot be handled in Luzira prison.

She then advised them to seek assistance from the acting chief magistrate Robert Mukanza.

Mukanza has listened to Lukwago’s complaint and advised them to put their complaints in writing so that court can make a decision by the end of today over the matter.

Lukwago has expressed dissatisfaction at the manner in which Amabilisi is handling their case calling it unjust.

He says that it is unfair that the magistrate set the ruling date well knowing that she was not going to be around to deliver it yet she did not direct any other magistrate to deliver her ruling.

Lukwago says that it’s unjust that his client who is not charged with a capital offense continues to suffer in Luzira prison over a simple charge while the trial magistrate who also sent Lukwago to Luzira over unfair bail terms continues to play games of hide and seek.

Lukwago says that they have been left with no choice but to go and out their complaints in writing and present them before court to see that their client is released on bail today to seek medical.

State led by Patricia Cingtho was in court and ready to receive the bail ruling.

Bajjo has spent almost three weeks on remand after Grade one magistrate Stella Maris Amabilisi charged and remanded him on charges of inciting violence against the person of the President on the 18th of June this year.

On the 24th of June, Bajjo through his lawyer Erias Lukwago presented sureties including Abbey Musinguzi also known as Abitex, opposition political activist Moses Bigirwa and TV producer Aloysius Matovu Kiza whom are all personal friends and business partners.

However prosecution asked court to deny him bail on grounds that he is likely to engage in more acts of violence if granted bail and that since investigations are ongoing, he might interfere with them.

The court also red afresh the charges to Bajjo and this time, he understood them and denied ever committing them.

On the 18th of this month, Bajjo was charged with inciting violence against the person of President Museveni for his political opinion and offensive communication after spending five hours in court cells.

On the charge of offensive communication, prosecution states that with an intention to disturb the peace and privacy of president Museveni , without any legitimate purpose recorded a video using his mobile phone containing messages threatening to overthrow the government of Uganda before the year 2021.

Bajjo pleaded not guilty to the first offense but when it came to the second offense, he pleaded guilty forcing his lawyer Lukwago to ask the magistrate to read the charge in Luganda the suspect best understood.

The magistrate however failed to get an interpreter and remanded him until today to gave time for court to find someone who is fluent in Luganda.

Bajjo threw court mainly his supporters into panic when he accepted the second offense which carries a maximum sentence of seven years before his lawyer came and informed the magistrate that his client did not understand the charge being red in English.

Bajjo is being accused by police of distributing a video through social media and according to police, Banjo was calling upon people to engage in an up raising against President Museveni and his government.

According to the chargesheet, Bajjo is said to have committed two offenses at various places within Masaka, Ibanda and Kampala.

On the 15th of June, Bajjo was arrested immediately after he addressed a press conference in which he announced that he was going to organise a nationwide a marathon in support to Kyadongo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu to help Bobiwine raise money which he has allegedly lost following blocking of his concerts .

On the 17th of June the Uganda police spokes person Fred Enanga issued a press statement.

According to the said statement, the Special Investigation Directorate under the Criminal Investigations Directorate has taken over inquiries into the case of incitement to violence through social media by Andrew Mukasa of Bajjo Events.

The case relates to the comments he made in “Luganda” local language and circulated online.

When translated, Andrew Mukasa of Bajjo events warns H.E. The President of their plans to oust him before the year 2021, and further warns the military of similar plans to oust the President, and indicates with confidence how he had people backing him.”

The suspect consciously ran the risk of being charged for inciting violence, treason or misprision of treason, since the law protects the honor of the President as a democratically elected leader.

The Security Forces wish to warn all individuals and groups, that posting videos glorifying violence using undemocratic means is an infringement on the law.

We therefore, advise the public not to share such videos. As law enforcement agencies, we also pledge to work constructively with all stakeholders to understand the dangers of incitement to violence.

We are also aware of attempts by those who patronize the suspect to divert the attention of the public and investigators from the major investigation, by dragging the person of the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), into the arrest of Andrew Mukasa.

We want to put it clear that the private car number plates indeed belong to our sister agency who logistically supported the police operation. Such number plates when the situation demands, can be used to achieve tactical or operational results. The DIGP last used those number plates in May, 2018, while appearing before the Parliamentary Appointments Committee.

He has since been allocated an official police vehicle and now has no attachment to those private numbers plates. The investigations will continue and the suspect will be handled in accordance with the laws of the country.