NUP presidential candidate Kyagulanyi granted bail

Nov 20, 2020

The National Unity Platform presidential flagbearer was granted bail and asked to adhere to the standard operating procedures meant to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as guided by the health ministry and the Electoral Commission.


IGANGA - National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi was released on bail Friday, two days after being arrested on his campaign trail in Luuka district.

Kyagulanyi, who is also the sitting parliamentary representative for Kyadondo East, appeared in court in Iganga district after being detained at Nalufenya Police Station in Jinja district.

During his appearance at Iganga Chief Magistrates Court, the presidential hopeful was charged with a COVID-related offence allegedly committed during his campaign trail. His wife, Barbie Kyagulanyi, sat next to him inside the courtroom.

During the session, she pulled a face mask out of her handbag and handed it to her husband, who immediately put it on.

"The offence is bailable and we have substantial sureties," Medard Lubega Sseggona, the head of Kyagulanyi's legal team, told court presided over by Iganga Chief Magistrate Jessica Chemeri.

Sseggona is also the Busiro County East Member of Parliament.

Kyagulanyi, who was brought to court in a Police van, pleaded not guilty to the charge. His lawyers told court that they were not allowed access to him while in detention at Nalufenya.

At the beginning of the session, the prosecution team asked the presiding judge to relieve the intially packed courtroom of the congestion in an era requiring social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic. The judge then asked Kyagulanyi's support team to reduce their numbers before they could proceed - a request they heeded.

Kyagulanyi donned a blue short-sleeved shirt and wore a stern look for most of the session, only once seen fist-bumping some members of his team inside court.

Meanwhile, there was a brief altercation just outside the courtroom involving Kyagulanyi's legal team and security personnel after the former claimed that the Police officers had taken away their client's clothes. Moments later, when back inside the courtroom, Sseggona reported the matter to the judge.

After the presentation of his sureties before the court and his legal team making a case for his being released on bail, Kyagulanyi was granted bail but was asked to adhere to the standard operating procedures meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, as guided by the health ministry and the Electoral Commission.

The case against the NUP presidential flagbearer was adjourned until December 18 - one week from today.

Following Kyagulanyi's arrest on Wednesday at a crowded location in Luuka, deadly riots broke out in some parts of the country. Over a dozen people lost their lives in the chaos, Police reported.

Some presidential candidates suspended their respective campaigns in a gesture of solidarity for the musician-turned-politician, who is better known by his stage name Bobi Wine.

He is one of 10 candidates contesting against President Yoweri Museveni of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) for the presidency in the 2021 election.

Others are Patrick Oboi Amuriat (FDC), Gen. Mugisha Muntu (ANT) and Norbert Mao (DP).

Independents Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, Joseph Kabuleta, Nancy Linda Kalembe, John Katumba, Fred Mwesigye and Willy Mayambala are also in the race.

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