State Minister for Labour, Hon Mwesigwa Rukutana has been realeased on bail.
The Minister has been on remand at Kitalya Prison since September 7th on charges of attempted murder, threatening violence, assault causing bodily harm and malicious damage.
The charges stem from the violence that erupted in the wake of the NRM primary elections in Rushenyi in, Ntungamo district.
The minister was granted bail this morning by Ntungamo Magistrate’s Court where his lawyers led by Owen Murangira applied for his bail.
Mr Mulangira told out reporter that the Minister was released on a Shs 4Million cash bail.
“He was also ordered to deposit his passport, and his sureties were bonded at 50m not cash. He can access his passport whenever he wants to travel,” the lawyer revealed.
The Minister ‘s sureties included former Information Minister Jim Muhwezi, businessman Bob Kabonero and Igara East County MP Michael Mawanda.
According to the bail application filed last week, the minister through his lawyers sought to dismiss concerns by State Prosecution that he was likely to interfere with investigations once out on bail.
Rukutana’s lawyers argued that a mere allegation that he would interfere with elections was not enough ground to deny him bail.
“The applicant should not be deprived of his/her freedom unreasonably and bail should not be refused merely as a punishment as this would conflict with the presumption of innocence. The refusal to grant bail should not be based on mere allegations,” determined the Constitutional Court on September 25, 2006.
“The grounds must be substantiated. Both High Court and the subordinate Courts have discretionary powers to set bail conditions which they deem reasonable, though this must be done with caution.”
It should be remembered that President Yoweri Museveni last week urged court not to release Minister Rukutana on bail
“I hope the DPP will also oppose bail. The image of impunity is not acceptable,” Museveni said.