Lawyers petition court to have Tumukunde, 13 others produced

Lawyers representing former Security Minister, Lt.Gen. Henry Tumukunde have petitioned court to have him and a group of 13 others produced.

Tumukunde was arrested on Thursday from his home in Kololo on charges related to comments he made in regards Rwanda which have since been termed as being treasonous.

On Tuesday, lawyers Anthony Wameli and Geoffrey Turyamusima of Wameli and Co. Advocates petitioned the Nakawa magistrates court seeking to have the group produced and charged .

“It is now over 48 hours since the applicants were arrested and detained. They have neither been charged or presented before any courts of law nor released as required by law,” the lawyers say.

Citing the Police Act, the lawyers say that any police officer who arrests a person without a warrant from court must produce the suspect to court for them to be charged lawfully.

The lawyers have in the petition listed the Attorney General, Officer in Charge of Jinja Road Police, Officer in Charge of Kira road police station, Commandant Special Investigations Division, Kireka and CID Director Grace Akullo as respondents.

“The detention is unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful in the laws of Uganda. The continued detention has also violated and continues to violate their personal liberty,” the lawyers say.

The petition before the Nakawa magistrates court is also in relation to Tororo County Member of Parliament, Annet Nyakecho, her husband Levi Otim, Arthur Kiiza, Nancy Atimango, John Mnayala, Zion Oboth, Walter Ebong and Rayomond Walter Alere.

Others are Rhoda Akello, Julian Joyce Ocoro, Keveni David Labeja, Dennis Okello and Richard Komaketch and were all arrested from the former spymaster’s home in Kololo where they allegedly were holding a meeting.

The charges
Following his arrest last week, police said Lt.Gen.Henry Tumukunde faces treason charges stemming from his comments while appearing on various media platforms.

“The arrest follows his utterances in a series of radio and television interviews, which seek to foster hatred that might lead to inter-community violence, fomenting and glorifying violence in general,”Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said last week.

“He in addition, calls on the support of a neighboring country to support him in removing the current leadership with or without the ballot.He is therefore, being charged under Sections 23 (2) b and 23 (3) b, of the Penal code Act, which deals with instigating persons to invade the Republic of Uganda and inciting any persons to make a mutinous assembly.”

Police however noted that Nyakecho and the 12 others with whom she was arrested face charges related to blocking officers from arresting Tumukunde.

“They are not on treason charges but obstructing officers who were carrying out their job. They are still at the Special Investigations Division in Kireka. Their file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for perusal and advice,”Enanga said.

“When our task team went to arrest, there was a bitter exchange. We had to build up a case around those who were preventing our officers from carrying out their lawful duty.”