Residents of Ruhinda North County in Mitooma district have petitioned the Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe seeking for the temporary release of justice minister Kahinda Otafiire rival, MP Dononzio Kahonda.
The Chief Magistrates court based in Jinja recently handed Kahonda 9-months jail term after he was found guilty of forging academic documents that he used to join the army.
The petitioners representing hundreds of others are Matias Bagwa, Silver Tusingwire Alex Gumisirizi, Jackson Nowangye, Edward Rugundana and Amstrong Muhanguzi. The petition was received by Aloysius Baryeza Natwijuka, the personal assistant of the Chief Justice at High court in Kampala.
In their petition, the constituents of Kahonda say following his conviction and consequent sentencing, which they believe was influenced by Otafiire, efforts to secure bail pending determination of the appeal are being frustrated.
Hundreds of Rtd. Capt. Kahonda supporters, clad in a yellow t-shirts having his portrait behind bars with words ‘free him’ on Wednesday stormed the Chief Justice’s office at the High court in Kampala to express their dissatisfaction. They also held placards inscribed with words ‘President must intervene’
“The Judges in Jinja have shown un willingness to expeditiously handle the bail application for fear of the justice minister. We approached the first judge but said he had no time while the second judge said he will have time in August,” Bagwa claims.
They therefore request for CJ’s intervention through an expeditious bail, pending appeal process that will secure the ends of criminal procedure.
Kahonda supporters further contend that he was wrongfully convicted for forgery and uttering false documents.
The charges stemmed from allegations that he uttered a Uganda Certificate of Education [UACE] to Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) and pretended to be Mutabazi Levan Dickson whereas not.
He was also accused of having forged a medical report on Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) entry form at the Military Academy in Jinja in the name of Mutabazi Levan Dickson and purported that the same document was genuine whereas not.
This, according to him (Bagwa), means that the local government units, community leadership and entrepreneurship projects will have to plod ahead without the vital contribution, lobbying and guidance of their area MP.
Kahonda supporters state that in various occasions, the pre-election canvassing and jostling for votes between contenders, Kahonda and Otafiire has continued more than a year after the ballot was cast.
This, according to them, unfortunately deteriorated into harassment, mudslinging and undue pressure on the part of Otafiire against the incumbent Kahonda.
In a letter dated June 23, 2017 seen by the New vision addressed to the President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the petitioners asked him to intervene in the matter.
For an MP, Who misses 15 consecutive seating without the permission of the speaker of parliament, he or she embarks on the process of dismissing him or her from parliament.