More than 90 members of the National Unity Platform who were arrested in Kalangala last week are set to appear before Court in Masaka on Monday morning.
According to police, the group will appear before Court at around 9:00am on Monday morning to answer charges of incitement to violence, disobedience of lawful orders, inconsiderate use of the roads, and negligently doing acts likely to spread an infectious disease.
According to Fred Enanga the police spokesperson, a total of 90 suspects who formed part of the violent mobile teams from Kampala, were on the 30.12.2020, arrested and transferred to the Region at Greater Masaka, where statements were recorded from them.
Another subsidiary group of 26 suspects from the community in Kalangala, were also questioned and their statements recorded on similar allegations.
All these are members of the National Unity Platform who were arrested during campaigns of their Presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu who had gone to hold campaign meetings on the islands.
Kyagulanyi and his team of campaign agents, security team as well as his supporters were arrested in Kalangala on Wednesday 30th December 2020. While the rest were taken to jail, Kyagulanyi was airlifted to Kololo and later driven home. He has since returned on the presidential trail.
Meanwhile, we have learnt that some of the suspects had active case files in other jurisdictions outside Masaka and will be taken to answer to such cases after today’s court appearance.
Charles Twine Mansio the CID Spokesperson told The UGPost on phone this morning, that those who have pending cases elsewhere will be taken to those particular places where offences were committed since they lack jurisdiction in Masaka.
After court has granted them bail or remanded them today, the police will apply for production warrants to produce them in other areas.
“All of them committed crimes in Masaka Magistrates jurisdiction (that is in Kalangala), but some of them had been involved in commission of other crimes in other areas and the cases against them are there, others had been sanctioned, others had not been sanctioned. But we hope now that we have their statements, we shall ensure that they also get produced in other magisterial areas where they committed the crimes from” Twine said.
Asked about the journalists who were allegedly arrested in the same operation, Twine could neither confirm nor deny. But said he was not sure. He however advised journalists who are undercover during such operations, to identify themselves in interrogation to avoid being charged with the same cases as the other criminals.
“I can’t really know that, for us we arrested suspects. But you know there are some people who want to be undercover and the undercover ones may not even disclose that they are journalists during interrogation. But we would encourage journalists to identify themselves even if they are undercover such that we know they are on duty, because if you are undercover, then you are arrested and want to keep quiet, we may take you as somebody who is doing a negligent act promoting an infectious disease” Twine advised.
He noted that for the sake of the relationship between police and journalists, and that the police also know that in journalistic operations they also act under cover, it is encouraged that once arrested and they are being interrogated, journalists should disclose such that police knows that they were doing their work undercover, which is also a recognized means of operation.