State Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mwesigwa Rukutana, is set to be charged with attempted murder, malicious damage and theft of a gun.
The case is set to be heard in Ntungamo district.
Currently, Rukutana is being held at Mbarara Police station where he has spent the last two days over this past weekend’s political violence in Rushenyi, Ntungamo.
ChimpReports understands Rukutana’s supporters have since thronged Mbarara police station demanding his release.
“We got information that they want to charge Rukutana before a Grade 1 Magistrate in Ntungamo with attempted murder and other charges well knowing such a court would not grant him bail,” said Moses Arinaitwe, a relative, at Mbarara police station.
“The moment he appears in Ntungamo, then the Grade 1 Magistrate will say the court can’t hear such cases hence remanding him to prison. It is a plot by those fighting him politically,” added Arinaitwe.
“Why don’t they charge him from a higher Court in Mbarara?”
However, state officials said the case has to be heard from the area where the alleged offences were committed before being committed to the High Court.
“The lower court will read the indictments and summary of the case but won’t entertain plea due to jurisdiction concerns,” said a state prosecutor who preferred anonymity to speak freely.
Security remains tight in Mbarara with police calling for restraint.
According to the statement issued by Rukutana’s lawyers, LSA Advocates, “The true position of the Minister is that the Hon Minister was a candidate in the recently held NRM primary elections for Rushenyi county was on 5th September at his home preparing for prayers after the loss of his mother in law.”
The lawyers said Rukutana’s son and a Reverend were blocked from accessing a road by men who were driving a Rav 4 car, leading to his intervention.
“At no point did the Minister or his bodyguard release any bullet. The weapons of the Minister’s guard and his weapons were all retrieved by police and are available for inspection and the truth shall be established that the weapons never released any bullet nor is there any sell of any bullet at the scene,” said Rukutana’s lawyers.
President Museveni today said Rukutana would soon face the courts over the political violence in Rushenyi.
“Minister Rukutana is in jail and will be prosecuted,” said Museveni in a statement issued Monday morning.
He said, “Those who beat People, like in Bukono, are all in jail or on the run. They will be fully accountable with robust charges: assault, attempted murder, murder etc.”
A video clip going viral on WhatsApp shows Rukutana picking an AK47 rifle from his police guard and advancing towards a car occupied by unidentified people.
The guard then quickly removes the magazine from the gun, preventing Rukutana from shooting people.
In the background, one could hear voices of men in the car, with one saying, “Rukutana wants to shoot at us. Drive off. Let’s go.”
Deo Rweiburingi, a supporter of Rukutana’s rival, Naome Kabasharira, was injured in the fracas.
He is being treated at Mbarara Referral Hospital.
Police said Rweiburingi was not shot as earlier claimed on social media.
ChimpReports understands the driver of the Rav 4 car which blocked Rukutana’s team was also arrested.