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Promoter Bajjo sent back to Luzira due to magistrate’s absence

Music promoter Andrew Mukasa in the dock

Music promoter Andrew Mukasa in the dock

Music and events promoter Andrew Mukasa, also known as Bajjo has been sent back to Luzira prison, due to the absence of trial magistrate Stella Maris Amabilisi, who was expected to give a ruling on his bail application on Friday.

Bajjo is facing charges of offensive communication and inciting violence against President Yoweri Museveni. He had initially pleaded guilty to the charges but later changed his plea after the court secured a fluent Luganda interpreter to guide him into fully understanding the charges.

Through his lawyer Erias Lukwago, Bajjo applied for bail, on grounds that the charges against him are bailable before the court, and that he has no previous criminal record. He presented fellow events promoter Abbey Musinguzi (Abitex), TV personality Aloysius Matovu Kizza, and politician Moses Bigirwa as his sureties.  

But prosecution led by Patricia Cingitho objected to Bajjo’s bail application. She stated that the investigating officer had indicated in an affidavit that Bajjo was likely to interfere with the investigations and commit acts of further incitement to violence once he is released on bail.

She further objected to documents submitted by Bajjo’s sureties defining them as uncoordinated. However, the trial magistrate Amabilisi said that she needed ample time to study submissions raised by the applicant and the DPP before making a ruling on the bail application. The ruling was expected today.  

But Grade One magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu told the court that the trial magistrate was away on leave and advised Bajjo's lawyers to seek guidance from the acting chief magistrate Robert Mukanza, on the possibility of instructing any other magistrate to deliver a ruling on their bail application.  

Lawyer Lukwago had asked the court to release his client on grounds that he has abdominal complications, which are vainly treated from a health facility at Luzira prison. Kamasanyu adjourned the matter to July 11.

Bajjo's troubles stemmed from a video in which he was allegedly inciting people to cause an uprising against Museveni and his government. The video, which was uploaded on social media pages, was reportedly circulated with the intent to disturb the person and privacy of the president.  

The arrest came moments after a press conference in which he announced a marathon organized to support Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, the Kyadondo East member of parliament to raise the money he has lost over a number of failed concerts and children who lost parents during the infamous Arua riots last year.  

Mukasa, trading as Bajjo Events and his colleague Abitex, had earlier dragged the police to court for blocking Bobi Wine’s Kyarenga extra concerts. The two companies said that they had a Memorandum of Understanding with Bobi Wine to provide entertainment at a cost of Shs 230 million. The musician-cum politician had received half of the payment before the concerts were blocked.  

According to their records, up to 124 concerts featuring Kyagulanyi, have been cancelled since 2017. But police said that the concerts that had been organized to take place in the districts of Kampala, Lira, Gulu, and Arua from April 22 to May 5, 2019, were blocked after the organizers failed to adhere to the stricter safety guidelines and site infrastructure concerns at the selected venues. 

The police indicated that the previous Kyarenga concerts had poor track records that were characterized with multiple incidents, related to public nuisance due to overcrowding, theft, violation of traffic rules and various misconducts, which were not only a breach of law but also a danger to the revellers and the lives of other members of the community

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