Ntungamo Chief Magistrate court has remanded state minister for labour Mwesigwa Rukutana for one more week over attempted murder charges.
The Rushenyi County MP will be detained at Kyamugorani Prison in Mbarara District until September 15, when he will return for the hearing of his bail application.
On September 07, Nazifa Namayanja, a Ntungamo Grade One Magistrate, remanded Rukutana until September 08.
Namayanja charged Rukutana with attempted murder, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threatening violence, and malicious damage to property.
Prosecution alleges that Mwesigwa Rukutana and others, on September 05, 2020, while at Kagugu Village in Ntungamo District, unlawfully attempted to cause the death of Daniel Rweburingi contrary to section 204(a) of the Penal Code Act.
His bodyguards: Police Constable (PC) No. 46613 Paul Agec, No. 62477 PC Faizo Kazoora, and RA 215020L/CPL John Bosco Okello; and driver Napoleon Nuwamanya are also under detention.
But through his lawyers of LSA Advocates, Rukutana denied shooting at Rweiburingi.
“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-driver’s 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,” they said in a statement.
“At no point did the Minister nor his bodyguard release any bullet. The weapons of the Minister’s guard and his weapons were all retrieved by police and are available for inspection and the truth shall be established that the weapons never released any bullet nor is there any shell of any bullet at the scene.”
NO BAIL; POLICE STILL INVESTIGATING
On September 07, Grade One Magistrate Namayanja had told Rukutana she didn’t have the jurisdiction to handle the case.
She thus remanded him for one night, after which he appeared before Chief Magistrate Sarah Kolya.
Through his legal team, headed by Owen Murangira, Rukutana applied for bail.
Murangira argued that Rukutana had a known place of abode in Ntungamo, and charges instituted against him were bailable.
He also submitted that the minister had presented substantial sureties in former ICT and National Guidance Minister Jim Muhwezi, Igara East MP Michael Maranga Mawanda and businessman Bob Kabonero.
However, prosecution argued that police was still investigating the matter.
They needed two weeks to complete the investigations, the lead attorney in the case told Chief Magistrate Kolya.
But Murangira challenged the prosecution team’s justification for demanding two weeks to undertake investigations.
In the end, Kolya remanded Rukutana for one week, directing investigating officers to do their work within that time.