The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has warned President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni over the continued attack on the Constitution of Uganda.
The party’s warning comes at a time when President Museveni is advocating for stopping the issuance of bail to suspects battling capital offences of murder, rape and sundry.
During the memorial lecture of the late Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka held last week at High Court, Museveni said the releasing of capital offenders a provocation and life imprisonment for convicts of Capital offences is not acceptable.
Speaking earlier today, the Party deputy spokesperson Kikonyogo said; “The right to apply for Bail is an inherent to all Ugandans, bail is not absolute it’s only granted on the desecration of the Court. Bail may be denied or restricted, the duty to deny bail lies on the state or prosecution which may present compelling reasons to move Court to deny bail.”
In Uganda the presumption of innocence is created under Article 28(3) 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presumption of innocence as created by Article 28 (3)a of the 1995 Constitution entrenched by article 44c can only be repealed or amended by a decision of the people of Uganda through referendum.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 back born of Uganda’s criminal justice system.
“The law requires that whoever grants bail it must be through discretionary power, such a desecration must be exercised, judiciously (meaning balanced mind with high degree of ethics and professional competence,” he said.
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.
Several Ugandans have been imprisoned, granted bail and re-arrested. However Court has since found many of them innocent. Joseph Musasizi Kifefe (Dr. Kizza Bessigye’s brother) Rebert Tweyambe and Frank Atukunda were accused of killing non existent John Byarugaba in Bushenyi in July 2002.
In 2007 they were granted bail and re-arrested, however the then director of public prosecution (DPP) Richard Buteera dropped charges on 18th Aug 2009 in a letter he wrote to Charles Kisakye, the Chief Magistrate of Bushenyi District by that time.
During that period Joseph Musasizi was denied treatment and later died in incarceration, later after 3 years, he was declared Innocent after his death. There is no kind of compensation that can be given to his family.
“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,” the party said.