There was increased activity Thursday morning at both the Gulu Military Barracks and Chief Magistrates Court where 4 MPs Francis Zaake, Gerald Karuhanga, Paul Mwiru, and Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), as well as former MPs Kassiano Wadri and Mike Mabikke were scheduled to appear to answer to treason related charges.
The group was arrested Monday in connection to the violence in Arua Town during the Municipality’s by-election campaigns.
The MPs, according to police, are being charged with treason, one of them Kyagulanyi before the court martial in Gulu.
Even though the suspects were expected in the courts at 11am in the morning, there seemed to be unexplained delays, and alleged non-committal by court officials to reveal what was happening.
At the Gulu Military Barracks, where the court martial was designated to sit, lawyers representing Hon Kyagulanyi said they were denied access to their client.
Counsel Asuman Basalirwa told reporters outside the barracks that the soldiers inside refused to confirm whether or not the MP was in the barracks.
“The officers here are non-committed on whether or not the Bobi Wine is here or not,” he said.
Basalirwa says they were however, reassured that the army court will sit today to hear the case against the Kyadondo East MP.
“What’s clear is that we were denied access to speak to him. The communication of the barracks is confusing.”
“They told us he was brought here for treatment and was taken back to Arua, but at the same time they say the court martial is sitting. There is concealment of information.”
Former Leader of Opposition Winnie Kiiza while speaking to press at the Gulu Magistrates Court also confirmed that lawyers, MPs, and the family of Bobi Wine were denied access to the MP.
“The lawyers went inside the barracks, the army seemed non-committed. At some point they said Kyagulanyi has been moved to Arua but at the same time they wanted us to believe he was inside the barracks. We demand that they tell us where he is,” she said.
Kiiza however, confirmed that they were able to meet the other MPs before their case could commence at the Magistrates Court.
Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga yesterday dispatched a team of MPs from Kampala, to follow the court proceedings of their colleagues in Gulu.
The team, Kiiza says, was informed by the detained MPs, that they were tortured while detention, but that Bobi Wine was torture much more.
“We believe this is the reason they don’t want us to see him,” she said.
The same was re-echoed by musician Ronald Mayinja, who said he was told that Bobi Wine was gravely tortured.
Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister, Gen Moses Ali, while addressing parliament, confirmed that the Kyadondo MP was flown to the Military Hospital in Gulu for treatment.
He however denied claims that he was tortured.