Minister Rukutana further remanded till September 15

Minister Mwesigwa Rukutana being led to prison. Photo: UBC TV

Minister Mwesigwa Rukutana being led to prison. Photo: UBC TV

The state minister for Labour, Gender and Social Development and former deputy attorney general, Mwesigwa Rukutana has been denied bail and further remanded to Kitalya prison until September 15.

Rukutana was first remanded yesterday by Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja to Kyamugorani prisons in Mbarara city, moments after he was arraigned in court to face charges of attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

He was arrested with three of his bodyguards from his home in Ruyonza, Rubaare sub-county for allegedly shooting and injuring a person, in the aftermath of the National Resistance Movement party primaries held last Friday. 

A video that has been circulating on social media, shows Rukutana grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards, and shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleged that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large, assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others; Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama.

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number, UAR 840X, a Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to one Moses Muhumuza.

But because he could not take plea in the absence of a chief magistrate, Rukutana was sent to Kyamugorani prison and ordered to report to the court today for a bail application. He applied for bail this morning through his lawyer Owen Murangira.

He presented four sureties including former Rujumbura MP Jim Muhwezi, Michael Mawanda, the Igara East MP, prominent businessman Bob Kabonero and Ali Mutebi. However, presiding chief magistrate Sarah Kawalya Mponye said that the court needed more time to study the application and come up with a ruling.

President Yoweri Museveni in a social media statement said Rukutana was not given "police bond because, according to the police, the evidence is clear and they should go for trial. I hope the DPP will also oppose bail. The image of impunity is not acceptable."

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd