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Minister Rukutana remanded over attempted murder

By Adolf Ayoreka and Charles Etukuri

Added 7th September 2020 07:55 PM

Grade One Magistrate Nazifa Namayanja said her court did have the powers to handle such offences as attempted murder.

Minister Rukutana remanded over attempted murder

State Minister for Labour, Mwesigwa Rukutana

Grade One Magistrate Nazifa Namayanja said her court did have the powers to handle such offences as attempted murder.

CRIME | COURT 

The State Minister for Labour, Mwesigwa Rukutana, has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara City on several counts including assault and attempted murder among others.

Rukutana who is also the Member of Parliament for Rushenyi County in Ntungamo district appeared before the Grade One Magistrate in Ntungamo on Monday afternoon.

However, Grade One Magistrate Nazifa Namayanja said her court did have the powers to handle such offences.

She also said the Chief Magistrate, Sarah Kolya, before whom Rukutana would have appeared, was not around, hence remanding him to Kyamugorani.

Rukutana was charged with seven counts which included attempted murder, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threatening violence, and malicious damage to property.

Rukutana is set to appear in court tomorrow for his bail hearing.

He was arrested on Saturday alongside his three bodyguards who include Police Constable (PC) No. 46613 Pual Agec, No. 62477 PC Faizo Kazoola, RA 215020L/CPL John Bosco Okello, and his driver Napoleon Nuwamanya.

The arrests follow Saturday morning skirmishes involving Rukutana and Dan Rweiburingi the former Rushenyi County aspirant on the Forum for Democratic Change ticket a key supporter of Naomi Kabasharira, Rukutana's opponent in the National Resistance Movement primaries.

Rukutana was transferred from Ntungamo to Mbarara police station where he was detained.

Rukutana has denied firing any bullets. His lawyers issued claiming no bullet was fired by the minister or his guards during the fracas that happened in Ntungamo after NRM primaries.

In their statement, Rukutana's lawyers noted that, the true position of the matter is that, "the Hon. Minister who was a candidate in the recently held NRM parliamentary primary elections for Rushenyi County was on the September 5 at his home preparing for prayers after the loss of his mother-in-law.

That he sent his son to pick a Reverend who was to conduct prayers at his home and thereafter go for burial and later proceed for polling.

That while his son was returning from picking the Reverend, the Ministers son together with the Reverend found the road leading to the home of the Minister blocked and on inquiry from the people who had blocked the road, they hurled lots of insults on the Ministers son and the Reverend accusing them of going to bribe voters".

 The lawyers noted that the people who were in the car that blocked the road threatened of burning the car which the Minister's son was driving and thus the son and Reverend called the Minister about the threat of burning the car, the Minister's son and the Reverend then called the Hon Minister for rescue.

"The Hon Minister then together with his bodyguard and other few people who were at his home moved fast to safeguard his son and Reverend.

That on reaching the scene, the people who were in the car that blocked the road refused to remove the blockade and exchanged lots of insults with the minister for which one of the persons in the car that had blocked the road was seen by the Minister darking down in the co-drivers seat to pick a weapon for which the Minister then returned back to his car to also secure a weapon to scare away the armed people in the car that had blocked the road and also to protect himself and his son".

The lawyers noted that at no point did the Minister of his bodyguard release any bullet.

"The weapons of the minister's guard and his weapons were all retrieved by the police and are available for inspection, and the truth shall be established that the weapons never released any bullet nor is there and shell of any bullet at the scene. It's therefore unfortunate that the media is publishing false stories that the Minister shot and killed or wounded any person which not true," the statements noted.

The lawyers said: "It is not usually our practice of addressing our clients matters through media but we found it fit to make this correction as stated by the Minister such that the public gets to know the correct position."     

                                  


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