By Hillary Nsambu
Three residents of Kasokoso highly contested land, who are currently facing charges of attempted murder have been released on bail from Luzira prison.
The three, who have been in Luzira prison for three weeks since they were arrested, are Jude Kaboggoza, David Muya Ssekiziyivu and Haji Musa Sulaiman Ssekigudde were charged of attempted murder of Kira Town Council Mayor Mamerito Mugerwa.
Nakawa Chief Magistrate Flavia Nassuuna on Monday gave the temporary relief to the three men from Luzira prison with orders for them to pay cash of sh500,000 each. They paid the money to the bank before they were let free.
The court also bonded the three men’s sureties, who included Kyadondo East MP Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda, in sh5m each.
Mamerito flees from an angry mob
“This meant that if the suspects absconded, they would themselves forfeit the sh500,000 and their sureties would not only forfeit their money to the state, but would also be arrested and charged in their place,” according to a lawyer who did not want to be named.
The men’s release followed an application in which their lawyer Asuman Basalirwa strongly submitted that it was a constitutional right for the suspects to be released on bail pending the completion of the police inquiries into the alleged attempted murder.
Resident State Attorney Doreen Elima, had however, strongly opposed the bail for the suspects, saying that they should not be released because the police had not completed its inquiries.
However, the defence lawyer, Basalirwa, incessantly submitted that it was wrong for the police to arrest his clients before it gathered substantial evidence incriminating them. The three weeks the suspects had been on remand was a violation of their rights to be free as the police carried out its work. He said the suspects were innocent until proved guilty.
Since late last year, the Kasokoso residents have been in wrangle with the National Housing and Construction Corporation (MH&CC), which claims ownership of the vast chunk of land.
However, it is alleged, when the Kira Town Council Mayor Mamerito Mugerwa visited them in a bid to talk to them over the issue, they suspected him to have been on a mission to evict them from the land. It was further alleged that a huge crowd of residents pounced on him, beat him up and burnt his car. He was rescued by the security personnel.
NHCC to compensate Kasokoso residents
Four injured in Kasokoso protests
Kayihura halts evictions in Kasokoso
Dev't won’t affect Kasokoso residents - minister