Nyanzi was arraigned before Grade One Magistrate Esther Nahirya together with David Lule and Julius Katongole and charged with two counts of unlawful assembly.
PIC: From left, Nyanzi and co-accused Katongole and Lule appearing before Buganda Road Court. (Credit: Michael Odeng)
TAXATION | COURT
KAMPALA - Former Kamwokya LC1 chairman Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu, who is the brother of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), has been charged with offences of unlawful assembly.
He appeared before the Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court on Friday, which later remanded him to Luzira Prison.
Nyanzi was charged with two other people over claims they had gathered protesting against the imposition of the social media and mobile taxes.
The trio are said to have started marching from downtown Kampala, before being intercepted by Police and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) enforcement officers near City Square.
Nyanzi was arraigned before Grade One Magistrate Esther Nahirya together with David Lule and Julius Katongole and charged with two counts of unlawful assembly contrary to the Public Order Management Act.
“Have you understood the charges? Do you accept or deny them?” asked the magistrate.
The accused responded that they did not commit the offence?
They also face an alternative charge of inciting violence. The punishment for both offences is imprisonment for up to one year, upon conviction.
Nyanzi and co-accused applied to be released on bail, but the court sent them on remand until July 24, when they would be returned to court to have their application considered.
They applied for bail through their lawyers Richard Lumu and Luyimbaazi Nalukoola.
The lawyers lined up three sureties for each of the accused, and informed court that they had explained to them their duties of ensuring that they compel the accused to always attend court until their case is determined.
“I pray that you find the sureties substantial and grant the accused persons bail on favourable terms and conditions,” Nalukoola requested.
'Nyanzi is influential'
Meanwhile, lawyer Lumu told court that bail is derived from the constitution that sanctions innocence of persons arrested and brought to court.
He also submitted that the accused have a permanent place of abode within the jurisdiction of court and are sole bread winners for their families.
“Without the accused, their families will suffer."
But state attorney Emilly Ninsiima objected to the accused’s bail application on grounds that their sureties were not substantial and that they would interfere with investigations and influence witnesses.
“Nyanzi is influential in his community and so he cannot be granted bail with one substantial surety,” she argued.
Until the recent LC1 polls, Nyanzi had been the area chairperson for the last two decades.
The magistrate fixed the bail application for ruling on July 24, amid protest from the relatives and friends of the accused.
“We are dissatisfied with the decision of the magistrate to extend a bail ruling for two weeks. On Monday (today), we shall write a letter to her to change the ruling date,” Lumu said.