Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) deputy spokesperson John Kikonyogo has revisited the death of veteran politician Dr Kizza Besigye’s brother Joseph Musasizi Kifefe as the party continues to oppose a move by President Museveni to ban bail for suspected capital offenders such as murderers.
Over a week ago, President Museveni, also NRM chairman, ordered MPs belonging to his ruling party to make consultations on his proposal to ban bail and report to him within two weeks.
On October 01, the president also used a televised address to convince Ugandans to support his proposal to ban bail.
But the FDC says that many could suffer a fate similar to Besigye’s brother Musasizi Kifefe (Saasi).
“We have Ugandans who were imprisoned, granted bail and were rearrested but Court found them innocent 10 years later. Joseph Musasizi Kifefe (Kizza Besigye’s brother) Robert Tweyambe and Frank Atukunda were accused of killing a non-existent John Byarugaba in Bushenyi in July 2002,” noted Kikonyogo during the FDC’s weekly press conference at the party’s headquarters at Najjanankumbi.
“In 2007 they were granted bail and re-arrested. However, the then DPP Richard Buteera dropped charges on August 18, 2009 in a letter he wrote to Charles Kisakye , the Chief Magistrate of Bushenyi by that time.”
Kikonyogo added: “During that period Joseph Musasizi was denied treatment and later died; later, after three years, he was declared Innocent after his death. There is no kind of compensation that can be given to his family.”
WHAT ELSE DID JOHN KIKONYOGO SAY ABOUT FDC POSITION ON MUSEVENI BAIL BAN PROPOSAL
The right to apply for Bail is an inherent right for all Ugandans; bail is not absolute” it’s only granted on the discretion of the Court.
Bail may be denied or restricted; the duty to deny bail lies with the state/ prosecution which may present compelling reasons to move Court to deny bail.
In other words every bail application is considered on its own peculiar merit and circumstances.
Uganda, being a commonwealth country, falls under the Common Law system which is based on presumption of innocence.
In Uganda the presumption of innocence is created under Article 28 (3)a of the 1995 constitution and it is entrenched under Article 44(c) of the same Constitution which makes the whole Article 28 non- derogable.
Under Article 260 of the Constitution, the presumption of innocence as created by Article 28 (3)a of the 1995 Constitution entrenched by article 44c can only be repealed or amended by a decision of the people of Uganda through referendum. Therefore the presumption of innocence is a backbone of Uganda’s criminal justice system.
The law requires that whoever grants bail it must be through discretionally power, such a desecration must be exercised, judiciously (meaning balanced mind with high degree of ethics and professional competence.
Historically, on May 15th 2011, Mr. Museveni set up a five-member team to examine his idea of amending the Constitution to deny bail to suspects of economic sabotage, murder, rioters, and hostile media among others.
As FDC, we want to tell Ugandans that this Bail discussion is not new. Mr Museveni has tried it many times before, the latest being in 2011. We call upon Ugandans not to take this discussion literally, his intention is to engage Ugandans into constant discussion on merits and demerits of bail.