Ntungamo Magistrate’s Court has released junior labour minister Mwesigwa Rukutana on bail as National Resistance Movement (NRM) Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson Dr Tanga Odoi is set to announce Rushenyi primary election results.
Former information minister Jim Muhwezi, Igara East MP Michael Mawanda and businessman Bob Kabonero stood surety for Rukutana.
Muhwezi, Mawanda and Kabonero were bonded at Shs50m, non cash, while Rukutana was granted a Shs4m cash bail.
Rukutana has spent a week on remand at Kitalya Prison in Mityana District over charges of attempted murder, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threatening violence, and malicious damage to property.
He had been detained at the Mbarara Central Police Station for days after his arrest on September 05.
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.”
On September 08, Chief Magistrate Sarah Kolya remanded Rukutana despite his lawyer Owen Murangira’s protests.
Prosecution had argued that once released, Rukutana was likely to interfere in the investigations which were still ongoing.
According to Murangira, court ordered Rukutana to deposit his passport with the temple of justice, meaning that he would need permission to travel out of the country.
Meanwhile, Tanga Odoi is expected to announce results of the Rushenyi County NRM primary election after a recount 10 days after the poll was conducted.
The initial result had put former Ntungamo District Woman MP Naomi Kabasharira in the lead.
Kabasharira polled 24,006 against Rukutana’s 23,996 votes.
Polling didn’t happen in the 41 villages of Rubaare Sub County on September 04 because there were no registers. Voting was pushed to the following day.
According to Tanga Odoi, results from eight polling areas had not been included in the final count.
With these now included, the NRM EC officials are expected to meet agents from both Rukutana and Kabasharira’s camps before the final announcement of results at NRM offices along Kyadondo Road.