The Rukungiri Chief Magistrates Court yesterday charged and granted bail to 25 Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leaders and supporters including the party chief mobilizer, Ingrid Turinawe, who were arrested on Monday for holding what police called illegal meetings in Rukungiri Municipality.
Among the arrested were two juveniles, who were later released without charges.
The suspects were picked from the FDC district offices and other parts of Rukungiri town where they were preparing to hold prayers for the deceased former party members who died in the struggle.
The group also intended to raise money for torture victims and the prisoners who are party members.
Among those arraigned in court was Ingrid Turinawe, Atuhairwe Nicholas the Rukungiri municipality Deputy speaker, Kabegambire Gereva, Nsimomwe Yoona, Amumpeire Sonia, Arinda Emmanuel, Binura Lauben, Turyamwijuka Simon, Ainembabazi Afia, Kananura Richard, Kemigisha Sylivia, MacLean, Tumwesigye Isaac, Muhamya Yoona, Akampa Mark, and Turinawe Rodgers among others.
These on Tuesday appeared before Rukungiri chief magistrate Moses Kule Lubangula and were charged with holding illegal assembly and inciting violence.
Through their lawyers Mark Mwesigye Mark and Ambrose Ainebyona, the group asked to be released on bail.
The state however asked court not to release the suspects on grounds that investigations are still ongoing and that if freed they were likely to jeopardize the investigations.
The state further argued that some of the suspects were from faraway places and therefore unlikely to return to court.
The state also noted that some of the suspects are repeat offenders such as Mrs Ingrid Turinawe who has multiple pending police files at Rukungiri central police station.
The magistrate however, dismissed all these fears, stressing that bail is a constitutional right that every citizen of Uganda must enjoy as long as they fulfil the requirement.
However, only 25 suspects were by 8 pm in the night granted bail whereas another 26 that include Nicholas Atuhairwe the Rukungiri Deputy Speaker are to appear in court today for their bail as there was no time for the magistrate to hear their bail applications.
Former FDC President Col. Dr Kizza Besigye and Roland Kaginda Mugume Rukungiri Municipality MP Roland Kaginda Mugume were at the court to secure bail for the suspects.