City hall Grade One Senior Magistrate, Valerian Tumuhimbise has adjourned the treason case against independent presidential candidate, Henry Tumukunde to January 21st 2021.
Tumuhimbise made the decision due to the failure by the prosecution to file written submissions as directed by the court last month. The court was expected to decide on whether or not to commit Tumukunde to High Court for the treason cause and rule on his application on human rights violations.
Court had earlier on asked prosecution and the defence to submit written submissions in the cases of treason and illegal possession of firearms brought against the former spy chief and security minister.
The prosecution alleges that while appearing on NBS TV in March this year, Tumukunde said: “If I was Rwanda, I would support people who wish to foster change in Uganda.” To the government, the statement is a call on Rwanda to invade Uganda and cause an unlawful change of government. Prosecution also alleges that Tumukunde was found in possession of a none licensed Star pistol and AK 47 rifle during a cordon and search operation at his private residence in Kololo on March 13th, 2020.
The defence team says Tumukunde’s personal liberty, right to a doctor and freedom from torture were violated when he was arrested. They argue that Tumukunde was kept for six days and only produced in court after they secured his production warrant, adding that he was psychologically tortured when he was placed in solitary confinement and denied access to a doctor. They want the human rights violations case heard before the cases against his client proceed.
However, this morning prosecution told the court that they were unable to file submissions in the treason and human violation cases as directed and sought an adjournment. The magistrate has given prosecution until January 7th 2021 to file and serve the defence with written submissions to allow the defence to put in a rejoinder by January 13th, 2021.
One of Tumukunde’s lawyers Geoffrey Tulyomusima says they are waiting for the prosecution to make submissions such that they can go on with their client’s case. Tumukunde isn’t impressed with the pace of the case, saying the government is using it to frustrate his campaign program. He says he has lost time to campaign in the areas of Bukedi and others because of the case.
He says he has also had to rush his campaigns in Luweero, Kayunga and neighbouring districts just because he has to keep in touch with his lawyers to run the case. Tumukunde, however, says he is not moved by the actions of the government, saying after all, even the cases are tramped up and only intended to frustrate his efforts to become president.